Definition of paradigm in English:



  • 1A typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model.

    ‘society's paradigm of the ‘ideal woman’’
    • ‘Maverick groups which imitate and model the dominant paradigm may be more likely to survive than those that do not.’
    • ‘One person can share a paradigm with the rest of society, and shift between different paradigms during their lifetime.’
    • ‘Religions need to be rescued from their present framework of conflictual relationship and relocated in a paradigm of mutual cooperation.’
    • ‘There is a need to distinguish two paradigms of’ culture’ in applied linguistics.’
    • ‘And yet he always takes art as the paradigm of human activity.’
    • ‘At the same time, in the context of post-Communist reforms these two paradigms became compatible and mutually complementing as two parts of a single transition design.’
    • ‘Don't get me wrong I can understand having certain rules, methodologies, standards etc, I just don't think these paradigms are a good example.’
    • ‘He says a creative leap is a new pattern, a new paradigm, a new way of organizing information and energy that has nothing to do with the previous pattern.’
    • ‘Of course in Britain we've made the choice to live within the paradigm of consumerism.’
    • ‘This requires a new paradigm regarding the role of schools.’
    • ‘The technological paradigm stresses the role of technology and, more widely, of innovation within the current changes taking place in the economic system.’
    • ‘Let me give you an example of why this paradigm about ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ religion is often misleading.’
    • ‘This present campaign is a paradigm of Washington's pattern of accusing others of doing what Washington is planning to do or has already done.’
    • ‘A paradigm of a scientific revolution in Kuhn's sense would be the Copernican revolution.’
    • ‘Respondents' ratings were viewed as a reflection of the degree to which their colleges of agriculture had shifted from a teaching paradigm to a learning paradigm.’
    • ‘The National Screening Committee has recommended a paradigm of informed choice for participants in all screening programmes.’
    • ‘Anzaldua targets paradigms representing culturally determined roles imposed on individuals and peoples from the outside.’
    • ‘People have their own paradigms and certain paradigms deal with gods and powers in different ways.’
    • ‘Wave Three began in the 1980s, as Baby Boomers began to come of age, seeking meaning and purpose in their work, challenging old paradigms, and transforming society.’
    • ‘Meaning smashing old patterns so a new paradigm can arise’
    specimen, sample, exemplar, exemplification, instance, case, representative case, typical case, case in point, illustration
    model, pattern, example, standard, prototype, archetype
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A world view underlying the theories and methodology of a particular scientific subject.
      ‘the discovery of universal gravitation became the paradigm of successful science’
      • ‘They are more than theories; they are paradigms or conceptual frameworks that define a field of study, limit our conception of reality, and define an agenda for research and policy-making.’
      • ‘Indian psychology doesn't require verification in the modern Western research methodology paradigms.’
      • ‘The inquiry itself embodied a pivotal shift in scientific paradigms of disease causation from miasmatic or filth-based models to the germ theory.’
      • ‘In the first three chapters, Aldrich introduces his evolutionary framework and describes how it relates to the major paradigms in organizational theory.’
      • ‘Such research may benefit from application of theory and experimental paradigms that have been developed within the areas of mate choice and sexual selection.’
      • ‘According to the neoclassical paradigm of economic theory, production conditions are basically the same everywhere.’
      • ‘In a sense, Scuglia holds that we have to choose between subcultural textual theory and the prematerialist paradigm of discourse.’
      • ‘The ID folks are constantly telling us that evolution is failing as a scientific paradigm, and that scientists are jumping ship in droves.’
      • ‘It has been argued that the traditional view of the Earth as a nurturing mother was replaced, after the Renaissance, by the scientific, atomistic and reductionist paradigms.’
      • ‘This clash between scientific ideas and paradigms we label science politics.’
      • ‘It was also contrary to the neoclassical paradigm with its methodology of equilibrium.’
      • ‘In the vast majority of experimental paradigms, the subject knows what the task is before a stimulus appears.’
      • ‘Shrinking electronic or mechanical systems further, he says, will inevitably require new paradigms involving quantum theory.’
      • ‘Leg blood flow for a given work rate was elevated in the patients with COPD compared with the control subjects during both exercise paradigms.’
      • ‘Deism reflected the scientific paradigm of the times in which the world inexorably and thoroughly followed strict mathematical laws of nature.’
      • ‘In fact, the whole paleosol methodology assumes the uniformitarian paradigm and is geared to interpret paleosols throughout the stratigraphic record.’
      • ‘A contrasting example would be the bending of all scientific research paradigms, but especially those dealing with human psychology, around a Marxist-Leninist agenda, in Soviet Russia.’
      • ‘Each living language has implicit in it something analogous to a scientific paradigm, the system of thinking and memory that supports a way of life.’
      • ‘Serious consideration of this plan will require a searching exploration, arguably overdue, of the practical implications of alternative paradigms in the theory of economic growth.’
      • ‘The author makes clear that she isn't interested in defending this list as a six-part paradigm of democratic political theory.’
  • 2Linguistics
    A set of linguistic items that form mutually exclusive choices in particular syntactic roles.

    ‘English determiners form a paradigm: we can say ‘a book’ or ‘his book’ but not ‘a his book’’
    Often contrasted with syntagm
    • ‘In linguistics, a paradigm is a set of systematically alternating items. A paradigm is complementary to a syntagm, which is a set of items used in systematic combination.’
  • 3(in the traditional grammar of Latin, Greek, and other inflected languages) a table of all the inflected forms of a particular verb, noun, or adjective, serving as a model for other words of the same conjugation or declension.

    • ‘And of course to do that, you do in fact need to learn all those paradigms of verbs and nouns, the amo, amas, amat stuff.’
    • ‘This has forced Jaeggli and Safir to weaken their hypothesis to a one-way implication: if null subjects are allowed in a language, the paradigms in that language must be morphologically uniform.’
    • ‘Reformers rejected the teaching of modern languages through grammatical paradigms, specimen sentences, and word lists.’
    • ‘But derivatives of ferre come from three different words and the paradigm is highly irregular: fero, ferre, tuli, latum.’
    • ‘Chinese has no case distinctions or gender distinctions in the inflectional paradigm of its third person singular pronoun.’


Late 15th century: via late Latin from Greek paradeigma, from paradeiknunai ‘show side by side’, from para- ‘beside’ + deiknunai ‘to show’.