—n. 1. one of a number of things, or a part of something, taken to show the character of the whole: This painting is an example of his early work. 2. a pattern or model, as of something to be imitated or avoided: to set a good example. 3. an instance serving for illustration; specimen: The case histories gave carefully detailed examples of this disease. 4. an instance illustrating a rule or method, as a mathematical problem proposed for solution.
5. an instance, esp. of punishment, serving as a warning to others: Public executions were meant to be examples to the populace. 6. a precedent; parallel case: an action without example.
—v.t. Rare.to give or be an example of; exemplify (used in the passive).