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The adverb is a terser form of ex. gr., both abbreviating Latin exemplī grātiā (for the sake of an example);[1] e.g. was also used as an abbreviation in Latin.[2]

The noun is derived from the adverb.




  1. An initialism used to introduce an illustrative example or short list of examples: for the sake of an example; for example.
    Continents (e.g., Asia) contain many large bodies of water (e.g., lakes and inland seas) and many large flowing streams of water (i.e., rivers).
    • 1682, Richard Baxter, “Mr. [Henry] Dodwell’s Leviathan, or Absolute Destructive Prelacy, []. Chapter III. The Consequence of Mr. Dodwell’s foresaid Doctrine.”, in An Answer to Mr. Dodwell and Dr. Sherlocke; Confuting an Universal Humane Church— [], London: [] Thomas Parkhurst, [], →OCLC, § 14, page 23:
      For though all is not to be done that is to be believed, yet all muſt be believed to be lavvful and duty vvhich muſt be done as ſuch: e. g. VVe cannot love God, vvorſhip him, hear and read his VVord, &c. as by Divine obedience, unleſs vve believe it to be our duty by a Divine command.
    • 1889 July 18, The Nation; quoted in “Dr. [Joseph] Leidy’s Anatomy”, in William Pepper [et al.], editors, The University Medical Magazine, volume II, number 1, Philadelphia, Pa.: A. L. Hummel, October 1889, →OCLC, page 45:
      Stated in technical linguistic terms, in this treatise pœcilonymy is avoided; e. g., instead of tænia hippocampi in one place, corpus fimbriatum in another, and fimbria in a third, the last is consistently employed and the others given as synonyms.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 17: Ithaca]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare and Company, [], →OCLC, part III [Nostos], page 668:
      Might he become a gentleman farmer of field produce and live stock? Not impossibly, with 1 or 2 stripper cows, 1 pike of upland hay and requisite farming implements, e. g., an end-to-end churn, a turnip pulper etc.
    • 1963, V[asudeva] S[harana] Agrawala, “Social Life”, in India as Known to Pāṇini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī, 2nd edition, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh: Prithvi Kumar, Prithivi Prakashan, →OCLC, section 3 (Marriage), page 88:
      The social status of the husband devolved on his wife, as implied in Pāṇini’s sūtra (Puṁyogād ākhyāyām, IV. 1. 48), i. e. a designation derived from her husband; e. g. mahāmātrī (ministrix), wife of a mahāmātra, a high government official, and gaṇakī, wife of a gaṇaka (accountant).
    • 2000, Endymion Wilkinson, “Geography”, in Chinese History: A New Manual (Harvard–Yenching Institute Monograph Series; 52), revised edition, Cambridge, Mass., London: Harvard University Asia Center for the Harvard–Yenching Institute, →ISBN, page 135:
      Cities were not infrequently named after the era name in which they were founded (e.g., Shaoxing 紹興 in Zhejiang, after the Shaoxing era, 1131–62).

Usage notes[edit]

  • Unlike etc., e.g. is very seldom read as a full Latin phrase. Like i.e., it is typically read out as its English calque (“for example”) or as its letters (“E-G”). It is also sometimes taught or glossed as “example given” for the benefit of English speakers.
  • E.g. and its examples are typically set off from the rest of the sentence by punctuation. In US English, e.g. is usually followed by a comma.[3] It is not followed by a comma in other English-speaking countries.
(UK) I like sweet foods, e.g. danishes.
(US) I like sweet foods (e.g., marzipan) but brush regularly.
(US) I like sweet foods (e.g. marzipan) but brush regularly.
(rare, US) I like sweet foods — e.g., red-bean zongzi — and so prefer Shanghainese cuisine to, e.g., Cantonese.
  • The example(s) following e.g. should be illustrative, not exhaustive.[4] An exhaustive list or rephrasing uses i.e. instead. The use of etc. after e.g. is typically redundant.
  • Rarely, exempli gratia is spelled in full.

Alternative forms[edit]




  1. (informal, nonstandard, proscribed) An example.
    Lemurs are an e.g. of a non-simian primate.


  1. ^ John C[harles] Traupman (2007) The New College Latin and English Dictionary, 3rd edition, New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books, →ISBN.
  2. ^ e.g., adv.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, January 2018.; “e.g., abbrev.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. ^ Mignon Fogarty (20 October 2016), “Grammar Girl: I.e. Versus E.g.”, in Quick and Dirty Tips[1], archived from the original on 2023-05-25.
  4. ^ Ernest Gowers; Sidney Greenbaum; Janet Whitcut (2002) The Complete Plain Words, 2nd U.S. edition, Boston, Mass.: Godine, →ISBN.



Alternative forms[edit]


e.g. (by justification)

  1. exemplī grātiā ("for the sake of an example, for example")
    • 1732 (MDCCXXXII), Antonius Mayr, Theologia Scholastica, Ingolstadium, page 55, by justification:
      nam licèt e. g. fornicatio prohibita sit [] non tamen id semper fieri necesse est. e.g. aliquis corruptus pecuniâ [] & tamen obligationem e. g. restituendi damnum
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
    • 1821, Julius Müller, Ratio et historia odii quo foenus habitum est, pages 3 and 10, by justification:
      Interdum etiam utrumque vocabulum in usu loquendi inter se commutatur, e. g. Dig. XIII, C. 4. Liv. XXIII, 48.
      Recentiora denique iura, quibus foenus prohibitum est, e.g. ius Francogallorum, []
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)