December 1st, 2019

words 6
  • sallymn

Sunday Word: Paradigm

paradigm [par-uh-dahym, -dim ]
1a A typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model.
1b A world view underlying the theories and methodology of a particular scientific subject.
2 (Linguistics) A set of linguistic items that form mutually exclusive choices in particular syntactic roles.


And the paradigm of a thing to be philosophical about is death. (Death: Bad?, The New York Times, 2009)

Disney Plus is looking to change the paradigm in the streaming world by gobbling up a massive slice of the existing subscription pie. (Mark Dawidziak, Disney Plus launching with enough firepower to reshape the streaming universe,, 2019)

The paradigm employed uses eye movement recordings and comprehension measures to study picture-text interactions. (Mihai Nadin, The Civilization of Illiteracy)

What we intend by the use of the term general theory is similar to 'conceptual framework,' 'conceptual model,' or 'paradigm.' (Anne Boykin, Nursing as Caring)


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' + deiknynai 'to show' (cognate with Latin dicere 'to show;' from PIE root deik- 'to show,' also 'pronounce solemnly'). (MerriamWebster)

Paradigm first appeared in English in the 1400s, meaning "an example or pattern," and it still bears this meaning today: 'Their company is a paradigm of the small high-tech firms that have recently sprung up in this area.' For nearly 400 years paradigm has also been applied to the patterns of inflections that are used to sort the verbs, nouns, and other parts of speech of a language into groups that are more easily studied. Since the 1960s, paradigm has also been used in science to refer to a theoretical framework, as in a new paradigm for understanding diabetes. (The Free Dictionary)