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Alternative forms[edit]


Established 1475-85 from Late Latin paradīgma, from Ancient Greek παράδειγμα (parádeigma, pattern), from παραδείκνυμι (paradeíknumi, I show [beside] or compare) + -μα (-ma, forming nouns concerning the results of actions).



paradigm (plural paradigms or paradigmata)

  1. A pattern, a way of doing something, especially a pattern of thought, a system of beliefs, a conceptual framework.
    Synonyms: style, model, worldview
    Thomas Kuhn's landmark “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” got people talking about paradigm shifts, to the point the word itself now suggests an incomplete or biased perspective.
  2. An example serving as the model for such a pattern.
    Synonyms: template, exemplar, posterboy
    • 2000, Estate of William F. Jenkins v. Paramount Pictures Corp.:
      According to the Fourth Circuit, “Coca-Cola” is “the paradigm of a descriptive mark that has acquired secondary meaning”.
    • 2003, Nicholas Asher, Alex Lascarides, Logics of Conversation, Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 46:
      DRT is a paradigm example of a dynamic semantic theory, []
  3. (linguistics) A set of all forms which contain a common element, especially the set of all inflectional forms of a word or a particular grammatical category.
    The paradigm of "to sing" is "sing, sang, sung". The verb "to ring" follows the same paradigm.


Derived terms[edit]


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