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[par-uh-dahym, -dim] /ˈpær əˌdaɪm, -dɪm/
  1. a set of forms all of which contain a particular element, especially the set of all inflected forms based on a single stem or theme.
  2. a display in fixed arrangement of such a set, as boy, boy's, boys, boys'.
an example serving as a model; pattern.
  1. a framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that are commonly accepted by members of a scientific community.
  2. such a cognitive framework shared by members of any discipline or group:
    the company’s business paradigm.
1475-85; < Late Latin paradīgma < Greek parádeigma pattern (verbid of paradeiknýnai to show side by side), equivalent to para- para-1 + deik-, base of deiknýnai to show (see deictic) + -ma noun suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for paradigms
  • Until then, rose fanciers should consider the following paradigms.
  • Past financial crises spurred new intellectual paradigms.
  • Such revolutions are usually preceded by major controversies between incommensurate paradigms.
  • Granted, these all-volunteer bodies are seldom paradigms of efficiency.
  • Many drug companies, meanwhile, are already incorporating new paradigms for collaborating on drug innovation.
  • And those societies that practice such paradigms remain stagnant and pre-modern.
  • What the columns lacked as literary paradigms they compensated for with captivating views inside cafe society.
  • However, changing instructional paradigms is difficult.
  • It will take a shift of cultural paradigms to make this happen, something the government should be promoting.
  • The big hurdle is holding the two paradigms in one's mind at the same time, and comparing.
British Dictionary definitions for paradigms


(grammar) the set of all the inflected forms of a word or a systematic arrangement displaying these forms
a pattern or model
a typical or stereotypical example (esp in the phrase paradigm case)
(in the philosophy of science) a very general conception of the nature of scientific endeavour within which a given enquiry is undertaken
Derived Forms
paradigmatic (ˌpærədɪɡˈmætɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C15: via French and Latin from Greek paradeigma pattern, from paradeiknunai to compare, from para-1 + deiknunai to show
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for paradigms



late 15c., from Late Latin paradigma "pattern, example," especially in grammar, from Greek paradeigma "pattern, model; precedent, example," from paradeiknynai "exhibit, represent," literally "show side by side," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + deiknynai "to show" (cognate with Latin dicere "to show;" see diction). Related: Paradigmatic; paradigmatical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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