Verb > Exemplify

When you look closely at the word “example,” you can see how it has two Latin roots that, together, literally mean “something taken out.” First, the “ex-” part means “out,” which explains the resemblance to words like “exit.” Second, the “-ample” part comes from a Latin verb meaning “to take,” which explains the slight resemblance to words like “exempt,” “redemption,” “consume,” and “presume.”

So anyway, take the word “example,” fiddle with the spelling a bit, and turn it into a verb: “exemplify.”

To exemplify something is to be, show, or give an example of it. In other words, to exemplify something is to be a good example of it, or to provide a good, clear example of it.

Part of speech:
verb, usually the transitive kind: “their group exemplifies excellent teamwork,” “that answer he just gave exemplifies his whole attitude.”

Other common forms:
exemplified, exemplifying, exemplifier(s), exemplification(s).

how to use it:
This formal, somewhat clunky word helps you strike a serious tone.

Talk about one thing exemplifying another. Comments can exemplify attitudes. Decisions can exemplify priorities or characteristics. Events can exemplify truths, principles, or scientific laws. Certain quotes or passages from texts can exemplify the tone, the mood, or the theme. And so on.

Often we use the passive voice:
“this issue was exemplified by that event,” “this problem is best exemplified by that company,” “their attitude is exemplified by these things they’ve said and done.”

“Even when they win, they may feel disappointed because the end result does not bring meaning to their life. This is exemplified by the ‘post-Olympic blues,’ when Olympians experience depression after such a significant accomplishment.”
— Benjamin Houltberg and Arianna Uhalde, Salon, 29 December 2019

“And his own pale and worn [face] shone with a happiness and peace which exemplified his maxim that spiritual joy is a sign that grace is present in the soul.”
— E. Rameur, The Catholic World, 1865