tem·​plate | \ ˈtem-plət How to pronounce template (audio) \

Definition of template

1a(1) : a gauge, pattern, or mold (such as a thin plate or board) used as a guide to the form of a piece being made
(2) : a molecule (as of DNA) that serves as a pattern for the generation of another macromolecule (such as messenger RNA)
2 : something that establishes or serves as a pattern
3 : a short piece or block placed horizontally in a wall under a beam to distribute its weight or pressure (as over a door)

Examples of template in a Sentence

The software includes templates for common marketing documents like pamphlets and flyers.

Recent Examples on the Web

Any agreement reached with GM will serve as a template for talks with the other two companies. CBS News, "UAW strike could cost GM up to $100 million per day," 17 Sep. 2019 Any agreement reached with GM will serve as a template for talks with the other two companies. SFChronicle.com, "Strike idles more than 50 GM factories and warehouses," 16 Sep. 2019 It was emulated around the world, just as America’s Clean Air Act had long served as a template for laws across the globe. Bill Mckibben, Time, "Hello From the Year 2050. We Avoided the Worst of Climate Change — But Everything Is Different," 12 Sep. 2019 The season’s cult leader, Kai, played by Evan Peters, uses a number of different historical cults as templates for his actions. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "How the Manson family became a pop culture trope," 8 Aug. 2019 Set fence template on a baking sheet; top with parchment paper. Tara Bench, Country Living, "Towering Haunted House Cake," 6 Sep. 2019 Officials say the multiyear project that started this spring could become a template for other western states, as junipers have expanded due to fire-suppression by humans and are taking over vast sagebrush areas and forcing out sage grouse. USA TODAY, "‘Stranger’ tourists, Phish and the plague, kinkajou attack: News from around our 50 states," 22 Aug. 2019 The project that is estimated to take 10 to 15 years could become a template for other western states as junipers have expanded because of fire-suppression efforts. Washington Post, "Massive juniper tree-cutting project aims to aid sage grouse," 21 Aug. 2019 What if the team could use this YouTube template, offer games a la carte, maybe at just $3 a game for their SNLA feeds? Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Dodgers games on YouTube give fans what Big Cable won’t," 11 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'template.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of template

1677, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for template

alteration of earlier templet in same senses (by assimilation to plate entry 1), of uncertain origin

Note: The form templet has been compared with French templet "implement on a loom for stretching cloth during weaving," a diminutive of temple in the same sense, though there is no apparent explanation for the very dissimilar senses. The relation of sense 3 (attested earlier) to sense 1 is unclear.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about template

Statistics for template

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for template

The first known use of template was in 1677

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for template



English Language Learners Definition of template

: a shape or pattern that is cut out of a hard material (such as metal or plastic) and used to make the same shape and pattern in other pieces of material
computers : a computer document that has the basic format of something (such as a business letter, chart, graph, etc.) and that can be used many different times
: something that is used as an example of how to do, make, or achieve something


tem·​plate | \ ˈtem-plət How to pronounce template (audio) \

Medical Definition of template

1 also templet : a gauge, pattern, or mold used as a guide to the form of a piece being made
2 : a molecule (as of DNA) that serves as a pattern for the synthesis of another macromolecule (as messenger RNA)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on template

Spanish Central: Translation of template

Nglish: Translation of template for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of template for Arabic Speakers

Comments on template

What made you want to look up template? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!