model 1 of 3


2 of 3



3 of 3


Synonym Chooser

How does the noun model differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of model are example, exemplar, ideal, and pattern. While all these words mean "someone or something set before one for guidance or imitation," model applies to something taken or proposed as worthy of imitation.

a decor that is a model of good taste

When could example be used to replace model?

The meanings of example and model largely overlap; however, example applies to a person to be imitated or in some contexts on no account to be imitated but to be regarded as a warning.

children tend to follow the example of their parents

Where would exemplar be a reasonable alternative to model?

The synonyms exemplar and model are sometimes interchangeable, but exemplar suggests either a faultless example to be emulated or a perfect typification.

cited Joan of Arc as the exemplar of courage

When might ideal be a better fit than model?

The words ideal and model are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, ideal implies the best possible exemplification either in reality or in conception.

never found a job that matched his ideal

In what contexts can pattern take the place of model?

Although the words pattern and model have much in common, pattern suggests a clear and detailed archetype or prototype.

American industry set a pattern for others to follow

Thesaurus Entries Near model

Cite this Entry

“Model.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on model

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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