a pattern, mold, or the like, usually consisting of a thin plate of wood or metal, serving as a gauge or guide in mechanical work.
anything that determines or serves as a pattern; a model: You can use my notes as a template for employee evaluations.
Building Trades. a horizontal piece, as of timber or stone, in a wall, to receive and distribute the pressure of a girder, beam, or the like.
Shipbuilding. either of two wedges in each of the temporary blocks forming the support for the keel of a ship while building.
Aerial Photogrammetry. any object having lines, slots, or straightedges to represent lines radiating from the center of a photograph, used for graphic triangulation.
Genetics. a strand of DNA or RNA that serves as a pattern for the synthesis of a complementary strand of nucleic acid or protein.
a small sheet or strip of cardboard, plastic, or the like, that fits over a portion of the keyboard and provides ready reference to the keystroke commands of a particular software program.
an electronic file with a predesigned, customized format and structure, as for a fax, letter, or expense report, ready to be filled in.
Also called safe. a marble base for a toilet.
Also, templet.

1670–80; alteration of templet, apparently by falsely etymologizing final syllable as plate1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
template or templet (ˈtɛmplɪt)
1.  a gauge or pattern, cut out in wood or metal, used in woodwork, etc, to help shape something accurately
2.  a pattern cut out in card or plastic, used in various crafts to reproduce shapes
3.  a short beam, made of metal, wood, or stone, that is used to spread a load, as over a doorway
4.  biochem the molecular structure of a compound that serves as a pattern for the production of the molecular structure of another specific compound in a reaction
[C17 templet (later spelling influenced by plate), probably from French, diminutive of temple³]
templet or templet
[C17 templet (later spelling influenced by plate), probably from French, diminutive of temple³]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1677, templet "horizontal piece under a girder or beam," probably from Fr. templet "weaver's stretcher," dim. of temple, which meant the same thing, from L. templum "plank, rafter," also "building for worship" (see temple (1)). The meaning "pattern or gauge for shaping a
piece of work" is first recorded 1819 in this form, earlier temple (1688); the form was altered 1844, probably influenced by plate, but the pronunciation did not begin to shift until much more recently.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

template tem·plate or tem·plet (těm'plĭt)

  1. A pattern or gauge, such as a thin metal plate with a cut pattern, used as a guide in making something accurately, as in woodworking.

  2. A molecule, such as DNA, that serves as a pattern for the synthesis of a macromolecule, as of RNA.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
template   (těm'plĭt)  Pronunciation Key 
A molecule of a nucleic acid, such as DNA, that serves as a pattern for the synthesis of another molecule of a nucleic acid.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

template definition

document processing
A document that contains parameters, identified by some special syntax, that are replaced by actual arguments by the template processing system. For example:
Dear , would like to invite you to a party at on at
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
While electronic presentations can require a lot of drudgery, much of it can be
  eliminated with the use of a template.
Ask your teaching centre at your university for a template and then develop
The third template is the boutique-a firm that specialises in a niche area such
  as emerging markets.
Using the resource web template as a guideline, ask each of the groups to
  develop their own resource web on the paper.
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