Definition of stereotype in English:



  • 1A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

    ‘the stereotype of the woman as the carer’
    ‘sexual and racial stereotypes’
    • ‘Editors had a growing body of feminist literature on which to draw, but stereotypes persisted.’
    • ‘It's a stretch, but maybe the editors are showing the interplay between racial and sexual stereotypes.’
    • ‘Done badly, they can reinforce racial stereotypes and increase the prejudices they were designed to reduce.’
    • ‘But the tired old stereotype is now under pressure.’
    • ‘They're employing people and creating commerce, and they're dispelling old stereotypes about gay business owners.’
    • ‘Here was a man who fit our stereotypes of the nice American.’
    • ‘Sex workers who appeared as guests on the shows also made statements that defied the usual stereotypes associated with prostitution.’
    • ‘Because of this, it is crucial that research continues in this area so that racial myths, stereotypes and prejudice within New Zealand can be exposed and understood.’
    • ‘This suggests that negative stereotypes are not widely held or are at least cloaked in external civility.’
    • ‘Gender stereotypes were challenged in a variety of ways.’
    • ‘When racial and sexual stereotypes are mixed in, personal fear becomes public hysteria.’
    • ‘Her work examines notions of racial identity and cultural stereotypes.’
    • ‘I think it transcends the ideas, stereotypes and societal expectations of what it means to be a man or a woman.’
    • ‘Americans' attitudes towards the elderly still fit the traditional stereotypes.’
    • ‘There are a lot of misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding feminism and feminists.’
    • ‘His stories have been heralded as great folk storytelling and lambasted as perpetuating racial stereotypes.’
    • ‘A person in this stage also participates in transforming racial and cultural stereotypes, biases, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.’
    • ‘I had found from talking to Lara yesterday that she really didn't fit the regular stereotype of most women.’
    • ‘They also stressed the need to promote a positive approach to ageing and overcome the negative stereotypes associated with it.’
    • ‘They only serve to reinforce society's stereotypes of who we are.’
    conventional image, standard image, received idea, cliché, hackneyed idea, formula
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    1. 1.1A person or thing that conforms to a widely held but oversimplified image of the class or type to which they belong.
      ‘don't treat anyone as a stereotype’
      • ‘The two leads are better than required, and the rest of the cast are perfect stereotypes.’
      • ‘The script also lays out a plethora of supermodel stereotypes for quick laughs.’
      • ‘The cast themselves are a delicious collection of familiar stereotypes.’
      • ‘This is a dramatist whose art consists of little more than pulling a string of cliches from a cast of stereotypes in an utterly contrived setting.’
      • ‘In fact, the film begs for a cheesy poster, setting out its cast of two-dimensional stereotypes.’
      • ‘"Yet I'm not a stereotype of a Muslim woman," she says.’
      • ‘The lantern-jawed hero comes standard-issue, as do the lazy ethnic stereotypes in the supporting cast.’
      • ‘But the characters are mostly one-dimensional stereotypes with little engaging depth.’
  • 2A relief printing plate cast in a mould made from composed type or an original plate.


  • View or represent as a stereotype.

    ‘the city is too easily stereotyped as an industrial wasteland’
    • ‘Do you feel you have been unfairly stereotyped by the press?’
    • ‘People just do not understand the issues, or have stereotyped views of how a lesbian or gay man behaves and use it as a basis to criticise their lifestyle.’
    • ‘The film limits its potential for critical analysis in this way, but it does so without reinforcing unequal power structures or stereotyping its characters.’
    • ‘I just thought they were ordinary people who were easily stereotyped as lovers of musical theater.’
    • ‘Your writing was repetitive and clumsy and bigoted, your villains were stereotyped, your characters all wooden, but so what?’
    • ‘In political science, Italy is often stereotyped as a nation of widespread corruption.’
    • ‘I had a very stereotyped view of others as seen on television and in books.’
    • ‘The nine issues raised here point to the fact that overly simplified and stereotyped views of Africa still prevail.’
    • ‘He would appear in about 30 movies through the late 1950s, always playing the same forgettable, stereotyped character.’
    • ‘Carl and I talked for at least an hour about his new show and how his character was stereotyped as a rather boring nerd accountant.’
    • ‘In addition, we hypothesized that gender differences would be consistent with gender stereotyping.’
    • ‘The homeless are often stereotyped as being tramps or junkies who litter shop doorways.’
    • ‘Forget tension and suspense, stereotype the characters and make them behave obviously to a script we've seen many times before.’
    • ‘Isn't this a rather stereotyped view of the environment, Mr. President?’
    • ‘The more stereotyped British character was showcased later on in the show.’
    • ‘This is because those who write them may, often inadvertently, include material that has the unintended effect of reinforcing stereotyped views of offenders and their families.’
    • ‘Some of those beliefs stereotype gay men as sexual predators and long-term relationship failures.’
    • ‘Leaving aside the gender stereotyping, isn't this more than a bit ridiculous?’
    • ‘And too many men have been unfairly stereotyped and falsely accused.’
    • ‘Even the four American characters are hugely stereotyped and stolen from all of the other teen movies.’
    stock, conventional, stereotypical, conventionalized, standardized, standard, formulaic, predictable
    hackneyed, clichéd, cliché-ridden, banal, trite, platitudinous, unoriginal, derivative, overused, overworked, well worn, stale, tired
    corny, old hat, hacky
    typecast, pigeonhole, conventionalize, standardize, categorize, compartmentalize, label, tag
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Late 18th century: from French stéréotype (adjective).