1350-1400;Middle Englishexa(u)mple < Middle Frenchexample < Latinexemplum, akin to eximere to take out (ex-ex-1 + emere to buy, orig. take); replacing Middle Englishexemple < Latin, as above
1. Example, sample, specimen refer to an individual phenomenon taken as representative of a type, or to a part representative of the whole. Example is used of an object, condition, etc., that is assumed to illustrate a certain principle or standard: a good example of baroque architecture. Sample refers to a small portion of a substance or to a single representative of a group or type that is intended to show what the rest of the substance or the group is like: a sample of yarn. Specimen usually suggests that the “sample” chosen is intended to serve a scientific or technical purpose: a blood specimen; zoological specimens.2. See ideal. 3. See case1 .
late 14c., partial re-Latinization of earlier essample, from O.Fr. essample, from L. exemplum "a sample," lit. "that which is taken out," from eximere "take out, remove" (see exempt). Oldest English senses are of "behavior" and "punishment."
of Christ (1 Pet. 2:21; John 13:15); of pastors to their flocks (Phil. 3:17; 2 Thess. 3:9; 1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Pet. 5:3); of the Jews as a warning (Heb. 4:11); of the prophets as suffering affliction (James 5:10).