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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce stereotype (audio)

Dictionary definition of stereotype

A widely held and simplified belief or idea about a particular group of people.
"The musician didn't fit the stereotype of a rock star."

Detailed meaning of stereotype

Stereotypes are often based on assumptions or prejudices, rather than factual information, and they can be perpetuated through cultural norms, media representation, and social conditioning. Stereotyping can be harmful as it can lead to discrimination, prejudice, and stigmatization of individuals or groups. Stereotyping can occur in many forms, including racial, gender, and cultural stereotypes. For example, a racial stereotype might suggest that all members of a particular race are lazy or unintelligent, while a gender stereotype might suggest that women are emotional or weak. It is important to recognize and challenge stereotypes to promote understanding, inclusivity, and respect for all people, regardless of their background or identity.

Example sentences containing stereotype

1. The stereotype of the absent-minded scientist is often exaggerated.
2. Her unconventional fashion sense defied the stereotype of a typical model.
3. He shattered the stereotype of the stoic military leader.
4. The movie challenged the stereotype of a damsel in distress.
5. The artist's work broke free from the stereotype of traditional art.
6. That car brand has a reputation, but it's just a stereotype.

History and etymology of stereotype

The noun 'stereotype' has a rich etymological history that dates back to printing technology and Greek roots. It stems from the Greek words 'stereos,' meaning 'solid,' and 'typos,' meaning 'impression' or 'type.' In the early days of printing, a stereotype was a solid metal plate with a fixed, pre-made impression of a page or part of a page, used to reproduce text. Over time, this term evolved to describe fixed and unchanging beliefs or ideas about a particular group of people. The connection between the printing process and the concept of unchanging, standardized beliefs underscores the etymological journey of 'stereotype' and how it came to represent widely held and simplified notions about specific social or cultural groups.

Quiz: Find the meaning of stereotype

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Further usage examples of stereotype

1. Don't fall victim to the stereotype of what a writer should be.
2. The athlete didn't fit the stereotype of a professional athlete.
3. She fought against the stereotype of being a quiet librarian.
4. He didn't conform to the stereotype of a typical politician.
5. The professor defied the stereotype of a boring academic.
6. The comedian poked fun at the stereotype of a clumsy chef.
7. The fashion designer challenged the stereotype of beauty.
8. The scientist's groundbreaking research shattered a stereotype.
9. The stereotype of the absent-minded professor is a cliche.
10. She broke through the stereotype of a timid artist.
11. The character in the book defied the stereotype of a hero.
12. The entrepreneur challenged the stereotype of businesswomen.
13. The actor refused to conform to the stereotype of a leading man.
14. A stereotype can oversimplify complex realities, hindering understanding.
15. Challenging a stereotype can lead to a deeper appreciation of diversity.
16. Let's confront the stereotype and see individuals for who they are.
17. Avoiding the trap of a stereotype fosters empathy and connection.
18. The danger of a stereotype lies in its potential to perpetuate bias.
19. Shedding light on the stereotype can dispel misconceptions.
20. Stereotype awareness is key to dismantling harmful preconceptions.
21. Recognizing the harm of a stereotype is the first step to change.
22. The impact of a stereotype on individuals can be profound.
23. Don't let a stereotype blind you to the richness of human experience.
24. Strive to replace the stereotype with a nuanced perspective.



generalization, individuality, uniqueness, specificity


TOEFL 2, Discipline and Self-Control, Social Hierarchy and Relationships, Prejudice and Bias

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