From the second edition (1989):
model, n.
(ˈmɒdəl) Forms: 6 modill, moddell, 6–7 moddel, 6–8 modell, modle, 7 modull, modil, 7–8 modelle, 6– model. [a. OF. modelle (mod.F. modèle), ad. It. modello, dim. of modo, ad. L. modus: see mode n. From It. or Fr. the word has passed into other langs.: Ger. and Sw. modell, Du. and Da. model. Cf. module n.]


I. Representation of structure.


1. a. An architect's set of designs (plans, elevations, sections, etc.) for a projected building; hence, a similar set of drawings made to scale and representing the proportions and arrangement of an existing building. Also occas. a delineation of a ground-plan (e.g. of a town, a garden, etc.) Obs.

1575 Gascoigne Posies, Herbes 173 And I shall well my sillie selfe content, To come alone vnto my louely Lorde, And vnto him‥To tel some‥reasonable worde, Of Hollandes state, the which I will present, In Cartes, in Mappes, and eke in Models made. 1579–80 North Plutarch, Pompeius (1595) 695 Pompey liked exceedingly well the Theater‥and drew a modell or platforme of it to make a statelyer then that in Rome. 1581 Sidney Apol. Poetrie (Arb.) 33 The same man, as soone as hee might see those beasts well painted, or the house wel in moddel, should straightwaies grow without need of any description, to a iudicial comprehending of them. c1582 T. Digges in Archæologia XI. 228 The proportion of the fludgates and capestainds‥shall in modell bee allsoe sett downe. 1597 Shakes. 2 Hen. IV, i. iii. 142 When we meane to build, We first suruey the Plot, then draw the Modell. 1601 Sir W. Cornwallis Ess. ii. xl. (1631) 166 Cottages may be built without modelles, not pallaces. 1617–18 W. Lawson New Orch. & Gard. (1623) Pref., The Stationer hath‥bestowed much cost and care in hauing the Knots and Models by the best Artizan cut in great varietie. 1625 Bacon Ess., Gardens (end), So I haue made a Platforme of a Princely Garden, Partly by Precept, Partly by Drawing, not a Modell, but some generall Lines of it. 1639 [see platform 2]. 1714 Swift Pres. St. Affairs Wks. 1755 II. i. 205 When a building is to be erected, the model may be the contrivance only of one head.
fig. 1599 Shakes. Much Ado i. iii. 48 Will it serue for any Modell to build mischiefe on? 1611 Tourneur Ath. Trag. ii. ii, My plot still rises According to the Modell of mine owne desires.


b. transf. A summary, epitome, or abstract; the ‘argument’ of a literary work. Obs.

a1626 Bacon Let. to T. Matthew in Spedding Life & Lett. (1870) IV. 133 Of this, when you were here, I shewed you some model. a1627 Middleton Wom. Beware Wom. v. i. 107 The actors that this model here discovers Are only four. a1649 Winthrop New Eng. (1826) II. 231 That treatise about arbitrary government, which he first tendered to the deputies in a model, and finding it approved by some, and silence in others, he drew it up more at large. 1760–72 H. Brooke Fool of Qual. (1809) III. 45, I have now‥given you the‥unformed rudiments of our Britannic constitution. And here I deliver to you my little model of the finished construction thereof.


c. A description of structure. Obs.

1578 T. Digges in L. Digges Progn. Everlasting To Rdr. M, I founde a description or Modill of the world and situation of Spheres Cœlestial and Elementare according to the doctrine of Ptolome. Ibid., But in this our age one rare witte‥hath by long studie,‥deliuered a new Theoricke, or model of the world, shewing that the earth resteth not in the Center of the whole world, but only in the Center of thys our mortal world.


2. a. A representation in three dimensions of some projected or existing structure, or of some material object artificial or natural, showing the proportions and arrangement of its component parts. working model, one so constructed as to imitate the movements of the machine which it represents.

1615 G. Sandys Trav. 221 Menelaus with fiftie ships, sent him only one, with the models of the other in clay, to colour his perjury. 1662 Pepys Diary 30 July, Cooper‥begun his lecture upon the body of a ship, which my having of a modell in the office is of great use to me, and very pleasant and useful it is. 1665 Moxon tr. Vignola (1702) 76 If they were all cut out, and placed one above another‥you would‥have the Model of a true pair of Stairs. 1676 T. Miller Compl. Modellist 1 When you go to raise the Model of any Ship or Vessel, you must in the first place know the Length of her Keel [etc.]. 1697 Bp. Patrick Comm. Exod. xxv. 9. 483 The Hebrew word Tabnit‥signifies a Structure, or Building; which cannot be better expressed than by the word Model, which he now saw of the House he was to erect. 1727 De Foe Syst. Magic i. i. (1840) 30 Prometheus, who‥is feigned by the poets to have first formed Man; that is to say, formed the Model of a Man by the help of water and earth, and then stole fire from the sun to animate the Model. 1766 tr. Hasselquist's Voy. Levant 149 They‥force them to buy‥models of the grave of Christ. 1824 R. Stuart Hist. Steam Engine 96 The university's collection of mechanical and philosophical models. 1832 G. Downes Lett. Cont. Countries I. 192 A model of William Tell stands opposite another of his son. They are formed of wood. 1847 Tennyson Princess Prol. 73 A dozen angry models jetted steam. 1850 A. Jameson Leg. Monast. Ord. (1863) 149 At his feet is a small model of a hill. 1875 Encycl. Brit. III. 833/2 Mr. Brunel had completed a working model of certain machines for constructing‥blocks.


b. fig. Something that accurately resembles something else; a person or thing that is the likeness or ‘image’ of another; esp. in little model, a thing that represents on a small scale the structure or qualities of something greater. Obs. exc. colloq. or dial. in the (very) model of.

1593 Shakes. Rich. II, i. ii. 28 Thou dost consent In some large measure to thy Fathers death, In that thou seest thy wretched brother dye, Who was the modell of thy Fathers life. 1602 —— Ham. v. ii. 50, I had my fathers Signet in my Purse, Which was the Modell of that Danish Seale. 1603 Drayton Bar. Wars iv. xxxiv, Seeing Lundy that so faire doth stand,‥This little modell of his banish'd Land. 1613 Purchas Pilgrimage (1614) 21 Delighted (as the Father in his Childe) in this new modell of himselfe. 1663 Bp. Patrick Parab. Pilgr. xv. (1687) 131 These quiet places are the resemblances of the serene regions above, and little models of Heaven. 1824 Hogg Conf. Sinner 138 The likeness to my late hapless young master is so striking, that I can hardly believe it to be a chance model. 1899 Crockett Little Anna Mark lii. (1900) 438 He minds me of Sir James—the very model of Sir James.


c. An archetypal image or pattern.

1742 Young Nt. Th. ix. 1337 When shall I‥Gaze on creation's model in thy breast Unveil'd, nor wonder at the transcript more? 1785 Reid Intell. Powers 421 Every work of art has its model framed in the imagination.


d. Dentistry. A positive copy of the teeth or oral cavity, which is cast in metal, plaster, etc., from an impression (sense 2e) and which may be used to construct dental appliances.

1839 C. A. Harris Dental Art xxi. 348 The obtaining of a model of the alveolar ridge, or ridges, when one for each jaw is required, though apparently very easy, is nevertheless often attended with some difficulty. 1857 Brit. Jrnl. Dental Sci. I. 579/1 Mr. Saunders thought that the plan of bending down the front part of the model could be fatal to a correct impression. 1917 F. A. Peeso Crown & Bridge-Work vii. 140 When the plaster for the impression has been tinted, the impression and model are easily distinguished by the difference in coloring. 1938 Dental Rec. LVIII. 14, I think, from a study of the original models, that there had probably been pyorrhœa for some years. 1940 [see impression n. 2e]. 1973 D. H. Roberts Fixed Bridge Prostheses v. 66 Only one model can be poured from each impression.


e. A simplified or idealized description or conception of a particular system, situation, or process (often in mathematical terms: so mathematical model) that is put forward as a basis for calculations, predictions, or further investigation.
Cf. sense 1c.

1913 N. Bohr in Phil. Mag. XXVI. 1 To explain the results of experiments on scattering of α rays by matter Prof. Rutherford has given a theory of the structure of atoms. According to this theory, the atoms consist of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by a system of electrons [etc.].‥ Great interest is to be attributed to this atom-model. 1923 [see Bohr]. 1938 R. W. Lawson tr. Hevesy & Paneth's Man. Radioactivity (ed. 2) viii. 89 These and other fundamental facts were responsible for the introduction of the model of the atom already described. In spite of these facts, however, it was later necessary to replace the atomic model by conceptions of a less concrete nature‥in order to be able to interpret more complicated spectra. 1939 H. Levy Mod. Sci. xxx. 515 Models of the universe have been erected that enable us with varying degrees of definiteness to picture these earlier stages. 1940 Econ. Jrnl. L. 91 Previous models of the Trade Cycle‥have thus mostly been based on the assumption of statically stable situations, where equilibrium would persist if once reached. 1949 Econometrica XVII. 193 The Mathematical Model discussed here‥is a generalization of the Leontief Inter-Industry Model. 1958 Listener 11 Dec. 972/1, I want to discuss the cosmological theories which are generally classed as the evolutionary models of the universe. 1969 J. Argenti Managem. Techniques 170 Any set of mathematical equations, linking together a complexity of factors and used to study the effects of change, is a Model. 1969 Sci. Jrnl. Dec. 27/1 Mathematical models of the global atmosphere‥can now be constructed with the aid of large, fast computers to handle the enormous quantities of data and the complex equations that represent the movements and heat balance of the atmosphere. 1970 Nature 21 Nov. 719/2 The equivalence of the corpuscular and wave models in the theory of optics. 1971 Daily Tel. (Colour Suppl.) 3 Dec. 24/3 Forrester has designed a model of the world system to try to discover the long term effects of pollution and overpopulation. The model, processed through a computer, predicts a variety of different futures. 1972 G. H. A. Cole in Cox & Dyson 20th-Cent. Mind I. viii. 250 A system of physical concepts and quantities that describes the main features of a situation is known as a model. 1973 Sci. Amer. Dec. 117/1 There are many other varieties of speech error. All of them must be accounted for in a model of speech production.


f. spec. in Mathematical Logic. A set of entities that satisfies all the formulas of a given formal or axiomatic system.

1940 W. V. Quine Math. Logic vi. 271 The fact that such classes constitute a model of the traditional real number system was pointed out by Dedekind. 1948 Jrnl. Symbolic Logic XIII. 16 (heading) Models of logical systems. 1952 S. C. Kleene Introd. Metamath. ii. 25 When the objects of the system are known only through the relationships of the system, the system is abstract.‥ Then any further specification of what the objects are gives a representation (or model) of the abstract system, i.e. a system of objects which satisfy the relationships of the abstract system and have some further status as well. These objects are not necessarily more concrete, as they may be chosen from some other abstract system (or even from the same one under a reinterpretation of the relationships). 1963 W. V. Quine Set Theory vi. 135 We have provided a model of arithmetic in set theory when we have provided a way of so reinterpreting arithmetical notations in set-theoretic terms as to carry the truths of arithmetic into truths of set theory. 1974 Encycl. Brit. Macropædia XI. 639/2 By Gödel's completeness theorem of 1930, if a formal system based on the first-order functional calculus F is consistent, there is a model in which the objects are the natural numbers.


3. A mould; something that envelops closely.

1593 Shakes. Rich. II, iii. ii. 153 Nothing can we call our own but Death, And that small Modell of the barren Earth, which serues as Paste and Couer to our Bones. 1599 —— Hen. V, ii. Prol. 16 O England: Modell to thy inward Greatnesse, Like little Body with a mightie Heart.


4. A small portrait. Hence confused with medal. Obs.

1622 Malynes Anc. Law-Merch. 356 Modells or Medalia to be worne by the said hundreth persons of the societie, and the Masters of counting houses. 1626 Boyle in Lismore Papers (1886) II. 190, I receaved‥a chayn, and the kings picture or modull of gowld fastened to the chayn of gold. 1658 Walton Life Donne (ed. 2) 91 That model of Gold of the Synod of Dort, with which the States presented him at his last being at the Hague.


5. An object or figure made in clay, wax, or the like, and intended to be reproduced in a more durable material. †Also, rarely, a sketch or study made for a painting.

1686 W. Aglionby Painting Illustr. Explan. Terms, Model. Is any Object that a Painter works by, either after Nature, or otherwise; but most commonly it signifies that which Sculptors, Painters, and Architects make to Govern themselves by in their Design. 1695 Dryden Dufresnoy's Art Painting Pref. 44 To make a Sketch, or a more perfect Model of a Picture, is in the language of Poets, to draw up the Scenary of a Play. 1845 Encycl. Metrop. VIII. 456/1 He [i.e. the mould maker] then pours the semi-fluid around and over the [clay] model until the upper part has the designed thickness. 1856 Eng. Cycl., Biogr. II. 929 (Flaxman), The contents of his studio included nearly all his working models, casts of all his chief works, &c.


6. Plastering. A tool for moulding a cornice, having a pattern in profile which is impressed upon the plaster by working the tool backwards and forwards. Cf. mould.

1825 J. Nicholson Operat. Mechanic 606 Plastering. The tools of the plasterer consist of‥rules called straight-edges; and wood models. Ibid., The models or moulds are for running plain mouldings, cornices, &c. 1842 Gwilt Archit. §2233.


II. Type of design.


7. Design, structural type; style of structure or form; pattern, build, make. a. of material structures.

1597 Hooker Eccl. Pol. v. xiv. §1 A fault no lesse grieuous,‥then if some King should build his mansion house by the modell of Salomons palace. 1660 F. Brooke tr. Le Blanc's Trav. 46 This Town is‥built very stately at the Italian model. 1698 Fryer Acc. E. India & P. 107 These Vessels that are for this Voyage are huge unshapen things, and bear both the Name and Model of their old Junks. 1778 Eng. Gazetteer (ed. 2), Putney‥has a church after the same model with that of Fulham. 1829 I. Taylor Enthus. iii. (1867) 55 Each of his works is perfect, both in model and in movement.


b. of immaterial things, systems, institutions, etc.
In the 17th and 18th c. often in new model, denoting a remodelling of some institution, etc.

1593 G. Harvey Pierces Super. Wks. (Grosart) II. 43 Such a new-devised modell, as neuer Sun saw before.‥ Old Archilochus and Theon were but botchers in their rayling faculty. 1647 Clarendon Hist. Reb. ii. §10 It was now easy‥to suggest‥that here was an entire new Model of Government in Church and State. 1678 Cudworth Intell. Syst. i. i. §45. 53 That new Modle of Ethicks, which hath been obtruded upon the world‥is no Ethicks at all. 1725 De Foe Compl. Eng. Gent. (1890) 22 Exactly after the modelle of the Common-wealth of Rome. 1747 W. Horsley Fool (1748) II. 331 This new Modelle of Things has quite corrupted the very Soul of Naval Affairs. 1759 Robertson Hist. Scot. viii. Wks. 1851 II. 239 Such acts as‥paved the way for a full and legal establishment of the presbyterian model. 1764 Foote Mayor of G. ii. Wks. 1799 I. 176 He will put us into the model of the thing at once. 1874 Green Short. Hist. viii. §5. 508 The new faith‥borrowed from Calvin its model of Church government. 1875 Jowett Plato (ed. 2) III. 51 Limited in size, after the traditional model of a Greek state.


c. the (New) Model (Hist.): the plan for the reorganization of the Parliamentary army, passed by the House of Commons in 1644–5.

1645 Cromwell Let. to Fairfax 4 June in Carlyle Lett. & Sp., That you would be pleased to make Captain Rawlins‥a Captain of Horse. He has been so before; was nominated to the Model. 1645 Whitelocke Mem. 10 Jan., The commons‥debated about the new model of the army. Ibid. 5 Feb., Debate about the ordinance for the new model. Ibid. 2 Apr., The new model was by them [sc. the king's party] in scorn called the new noddle.


d. An article of apparel of a particular design; a specified type or design of clothing; freq. with defining word prefixed.

1880 Queen 12 June (Advt.), Messrs Jay import from the first houses in Paris. Models of every style. 1906 Bazaar, Exchange & Mart Suppl. 3 Oct. 1308/1 Great bargains in ladies' wearing apparel, new and equal to new. Paris models. 1912 Tatler 23 Oct. 105 The forthcoming models are more than usually extravagant and‥the latest creations all seem to have been designed ‘regardless of cost’. 1933 N. Coward Design for Living i. 22 A silly pride made me show off to you, parade my attraction for you, like a mannequin. New spring model, with a few extra flounces! 1958 [see casualness]. 1975 Times 29 July 8/5 The Valentino collection is untypically small.‥ Strikes‥have dogged the production of the models.


e. A motor vehicle of a particular design; a vehicle produced in a specified year; also transf., one of a series of varying designs of the same type of object; also fig. Model T, an early type of car produced by the American Ford Company; also allusively, of a person or thing that is outmoded, mass-produced, etc. Also attrib. or as adj.

1900 Automobile Topics 22 Dec. 366/1 For sale. Two-passenger Winton, 1900 model, in first-class condition. 1901 Ibid. 21 Sept. 848 Type No. 2. Model ‘C’—12 HP. Double Cylinder Gasoline Engine. 1909 Automobile 7 Jan. 9/1 Henry Ford made a name for himself which will cling for all time when he handed out a replica of a full-fledged automobile of the four-cylinder type at the price of a runabout—nay, at the price of the cheapest runabouts. Model T of the Ford line is in the same class, in that it is all automobile and no price. 1909 Westm. Gaz. 2 Nov. 5/1 The engine of the 20-h.p. model‥is of the monobloc order. 1910 Ibid. 4 Jan. 5/2 Mr. Huff pays a visit to Europe‥to inspect the new models at Olympia. 1912 V. W. Pagé Mod. Gasoline Automobile xii. 618 The Ford car is one of the most popular of moderate-priced automobiles and over 100,000 of the Model ‘T’ are now on the road. Ibid. 619 (caption) Outlining the distinctive control system of Ford Model ‘T’ automobile. 1927 Motor Cycling 7 Dec. 102 (heading) Road tests of 1928 models. 1930 L. Mumford City Devel. (1946) 62 One might call this the model T dilemma. Mass-production‥suffers‥from rigidity. 1930 H. Crane Let. 29 Dec. (1965) 360 The middle west business man, approved panic model of 1931. 1932 A. Huxley Brave New World ii. 27 Twenty-three years after Our Ford's first T-Model was put on the market. 1942 E. Paul Narrow St. ii. 17 Mary drew from somewhere inside her waist a dog-eared American passport of a model no longer in vogue. 1945 Amer. Speech XX. 148/1 Model T, non~com technician. 1947 Reader's Digest Jan. 119/1 Such simple demands as wages, hours and working conditions are strictly Model T. 1955 W. Gaddis Recognitions iii. ii. 752 The minute you get used to the goddam thing some bastard puts out a new model. 1963 R. Wolff I, Keturah (1964) i. vii. 47 The Model T chugged up the hill. 1966 Economist 26 Mar. 1251/2 A return to the one-off, custom-built job, is playing right back into Britain's hands and away from the undeveloped nations churning out marine model-Ts. 1968 Listener 23 May 670/1 There are still 405-line-only models, which cannot be converted, on sale. 1970 Globe & Mail (Toronto) 26 Sept. B 1/5 During the past model year, the trend was accelerated by the‥fact that the car companies had concentrated in their Canadian plants production of the models that happened to be most successful in the marketplace.


8. a. Scale of construction; allotted measure; the measure of a person's ability or capacity. Obs. (Cf. module n. 1, 1b.)

1605 Bacon Adv. Learn. i. vii. §19 An Errour ordinarie with Counsellors of Princes, that they counsell their Maisters according to the modell of their owne mind and fortune. 1620 R. Carpenter Conscionable Christian (1623) 39 Hauing‥spoken‥(according to the modell of time allotted for me to speake, and you to heare) of the reall religious practice [etc.]. 1624 F. White Repl. Fisher 301 We are farre from appointing ignorant persons to be Iudges of that which exceedeth their modill and skill. 1625 Bacon Unity in Relig. (Arb.) 427 Of this I may giue onely this Aduice, according to my small Modell. 1651 Hobbes, Leviath. ii. xxiv. 130 Thus much (considering the modell of the whole worke) is sufficient. 1662 Hibbert Body Div. i. 206 Shall any reduce and shrink up the thoughts and wayes of God to their narrow and straitned model? 1675 Baxter Cath. Theol. ii. i. 278, I tell you the Ignorant and Carnal sort of Priests and Fryers did each man talk according to his Model, and so do all Sects.


b. Compass, extent of space. Obs.

?a1600 in Lyly's Wks. (1902) III. 493 The thundringe God whose all-embracinge powre Circles ye modell of this spatious rounde.


9. Of a violin, viol, etc.: Curvature of surface.

1836 Dubourg Violin ix. (1878) 266 The instruments by the three Amati are rather higher, or less flat, in the model, than those of Straduarius. 1848 J. Bishop Otto's Violin i. (1875) 4 The even side [of the wood for the violin's back or belly] is then smoothed and the model traced on it.


III. An object of imitation.


10. a. A person, or a work, that is proposed or adopted for imitation; an exemplar.

1639 N. N. tr. Du Bosq's Compl. Woman i. Eivb, The desire we have to become like to some goodly model. 1693–4 Gibson in Lett. Lit. Men (Camden) 217, I had a letter last night from Dr. Parsons, with a fresh request to send him down a [sc. history of a] Countie finished, from whence he might take a model to adjust his own materials. 1714 Gay Let. to Lady 31, I then resolved some model to pursue, Perused French critics, and began anew. 1734 tr. Rollin's Anc. Hist. (1827) VIII. xix. v. 156 Which young officers should propose to themselves as a model. 1837 Lytton E. Maltrav. iii. ii, Models may form our taste as critics, but do not excite us to be authors. 1838 Emerson Addr., Cambridge, Mass. Wks. (Bohn) II. 202 Imitation cannot go above its model. 1839 Thirlwall Greece VI. 213 The system‥served‥as a model for the policy of Rome under the emperors. 1871 Freeman Norm. Conq. (1876) IV. xix. 419 [The Church] of Rouen, we are told being his special and immediate model.


b. Biol. An animal or plant to which another bears a mimetic resemblance.

1877 Encycl. Brit. VI. 127/1 Probably this beetle shared in the immunity from attack accorded to its model. 1907 Nature 31 Oct. 673/2 An insect thus resembled by another is spoken of as its ‘model’, the imitating insect is called a ‘mimic’. 1930 R. A. Fisher Genetical Theory Nat. Selection 148 The resemblance which is favourable to the mimic will be for the same reason disadvantageous to the model. 1968 R. D. Martin tr. Wickler's Mimicry in Plants & Animals i. 16 (caption) Leaf beetles‥serve as models for roaches‥, which are palatable and resemble their models so closely that they are also avoided by predators. Ibid. iv. 43 This weed [sc. rye-weed]‥is less demanding and tougher than its model, the wheat plant.


11. a. A person, or, less frequently, a thing, that serves as the artist's pattern for a work of painting or sculpture, or for some portion of such a work; spec. a person whose profession it is to pose for artists and art-students.

1691 Emilianne's Frauds Rom. Monks (ed. 3) 391 [She] commonly serv'd for a Model to the Limners of the Academy. 1727–41 Chambers Cycl. s.v., In the academies, they give the term model to a naked man, disposed in several postures. 1860 Hawthorne Marb. Faun ii, One of those living models‥whom artists convert into saints or assassins, according as their pictorial purposes demand. 1891 Kipling Light that Failed vii. (1900) 159 But remember, old man, she isn't a woman; she's my model; and be careful.


b. transf. A person, freq. a woman, who is employed to display clothes by wearing them, or to appear in displays of other goods.

1904 Books of to-day May 3 One of the models of the establishment came gracefully towards me. a1911 D. G. Phillips Susan Lenox (1917) II. i. 7 She was dressed in the sleek tight-fitting trying-on robe of the professional model. 1958 Woman's Own 5 Feb. 16/2 The first lesson every model learns is to stand and walk correctly. 1959 Guardian 26 Oct. 7/7 If the men were only going to become part-time models, they would need to go on doing one or two lessons a fortnight. 1962, 1970 [see fashion-model s.v. fashion n. 13]. 1971 B. Patten Irrelevant Song 55 Their beauty more awkward than even the topmost models.


c. A euphemism for ‘prostitute’.

1963 [see company director s.v. company n. 10]. 1968 J. Lock Lady Policeman ii. 19 There had been an increase of newsagents' notice-board ads for ‘Models’. 1970 G. Greer Female Eunuch 195 Working as hostesses in high-class clubs, as ‘models’ or simply walking the streets.


12. A person or thing eminently worthy of imitation; a perfect exemplar of some excellence.

1788 A. Seward Lett. (1811) II. 104 A man [sc. Johnson] who, hating dissenters of all denominations, held up the writings of Clarke and the life of Watts as models of perfection. 1794 Paley Evid. ii. ii. (1817) 60 The Lord's Prayer is a model of calm devotion. 1805 N. Nicholls Remin. in Corr. w. Gray (1843) 43 Mr. Gray thought the narrative of Thucydides the model of history. 1868 Swinburne Blake 16 Their vivid and vigorous style is often a model in its kind. 1871 E. F. Burr Ad Fidem xi. 211 Models of pure and noble conduct.


13. a. colloq. in pl. = ‘model dwellings’ (see 15a).

1887 Pall Mall G. 5 Oct. 4/2 The parish has gone down‥and the building of the ‘models’ has not made it better. 1896 Daily Chron. 25 Aug. 5/6 The ordinary streets and the smaller models, which make up the bulk of the Ghetto, as we find it in Whitechapel [etc.]. 1900 Daily News 25 Oct. 3/4 The overcrowding per acre caused by ‘models’ was just as unhealthy as overcrowding per room.


b. Sc. colloq. A model lodging-house (see sense 15a).

1899 ‘J. Flynt’ Tramping with Tramps ii. 233 The price‥is threepence a night, and this is the common price all over Great Britain, except in the so-called ‘Models’, where a penny more is charged simply for the very deceitful name. 1927 [see flop-house s.v. flop n. 5]. 1935 MacArthur & Long No Mean City xix. 282 ‘A model’ in Gallowgate—one of those buildings which are ironically termed ‘Working Men's Hotels’.


IV. 14.a. = module 1. Obs.

1598 R. Haydocke tr. Lomatius i. 89 But because Vitruvius measureth this order by models,‥I purpose likewise to keepe the same course, making the diameter of this columne at the base, to consist of two models, whose height with the base and Capitell shal be fourteene models. 1665 Moxon tr. Vignola (1702) To Rdr., Our Author to avoid that‥certain uncertainty hath reduc'd all his measure, to a convenient and universal measure, which is called by the Name of a Model [It. modulo]: The invention whereof hath made the whole Art of Architecture very easie. 1706 in Phillips (ed. Kersey).


b. = modillion. Obs.

1663 Gerbier Counsel 39 The Models in the Cornishes may be just over the middle of the Column.


V. 15. attrib. and Comb. a. appositive, passing into adj.: Serving or intended to serve as a model; suited to be a model, exemplary, ideally perfect, ‘pattern’.
model lodging-house: originally, one of a number of lodging-houses, established c1840–5 by various philanthropists and placed under regulations intended to secure the comfort and the orderly conduct of the inmates; the designation was afterwards applied by the proprietors of large lodging-houses to their own establishments, often of a very low class. model dwellings: in London and elsewhere, certain large buildings divided into flats for working-class tenants, intended to supply better arrangements for sanitation and comfort than are obtainable at equally low rent in the same neighbourhoods.

1844 Marg. Fuller Wom. 19th C. (1862) 31 Lectures on some model-woman of bride-like beauty and gentleness. 1847 Illustr. Lond. News 23 Jan. 61 Model Lodging House in St. Giles's. 1849 J. S. Buckingham National Evils 25 My thoughts were thus‥directed to‥the desirability of forming at least one Model Town. 1856 Emerson Eng. Traits, Ability Wks. (Bohn) II. 35 Sir Kenelm Digby‥was a model Englishman. 1857 Kingsley Two Years Ago Introd. (1881) I. 22 There's my lord's‥model cottages, with more comforts in them, saving the size, than my father's house had. 1857 Geo. Eliot Scenes Clerical Life (1858) I. 109 What a hobby farming is with Lord Watling!‥ It is really a model farm. 1860 All Year Round No. 57. 161 A mill-owner, whose mill, I was assured, was a model one. 1885 Public Opinion 9 Jan. 32/1 A model Bishop of London is‥more easily imagined than discovered. 1891 Tablet 2 May 694 How did so model a youth get on at the University? 1891 M. Williams Later Leaves 369 In the case of many cleared areas,‥model dwellings have been erected for the accommodation of the persons displaced. 1898 E. Howard To-Morrow iv. 41 Another site for a model city could be purchased. 1909 Chambers's Jrnl. Feb. 87/1 It [sc. Kinlochleven] is built on the model-town system. 1967 Boston Globe 18 May 14/1 The new Congress‥almost stopped the Model Cities program. 1970 G. E. Evans Where Beards wag All xi. 117 A horseman applied for a job with a farmer who had a few years before built himself a model farm with the most up-to-date farm buildings and all the latest equipment.


b. simple attrib., chiefly with reference to the life-models employed by artists, as in model-day, model-stand, model-throne. Also objective, as model maker; model-building, model-making. Also freq. attrib. in sense 2a, as model aeroplane, model aircraft, model boat, model engine, model railway, model soldier, model train, model yacht.

1920 Model aeroplane [see model-making below]. 1973 Times 27 July (Suppl.) p. iv/4 Thousands of different hobbies and recreations: toy soldiers, model aeroplanes, cigarette cards. 1951 Catal. of Exhibits, South Bank Exhib., Festival of Britain 126/2 Model aircraft. 1974 Times 8 Feb. 15/5 Pursuits such as whippet racing and model aircraft flying. 1912 W. Owen Let. 2 July (1967) 147 Bournemouth Cliffs‥and especially the Model-Boat-Canal were‥familiar to me. 1974 Country Life 3–10 Jan. 56/4 Model boats wanted.‥ Cased or uncased. 1957 B. F. Skinner in Saporta & Bastian Psycholinguistics (1961) 235/2 Model-building has a special status in the field of verbal behavior. 1972 Computers & Humanities VII. 79 His study is one of the richest we have for its methodological innovation, its model-building, and its attempt to treat the political culture of the time both as a system and as a block of evidence for larger concerns. 1873 W. Morris in Mackail Life (1899) I. 301, I keep it up, dreading the model day like I used to dread Sunday. 1906 E. Nesbit Railway Children i. 3 Peter had a birthday—his tenth. Among his other presents he had a model engine. 1598 Florio Worlde of Wordes 106/2 Disegnante, a map or modle maker. 1881 Instr. Census Clerks (1885) 55 Figure, Image-Maker.‥ Model Maker. 1946 Nature 28 Dec. 928/2 He obtained a job as a model-maker to a firm of instrument manufacturers. 1965 Math. in Biol. & Med. (Med. Res. Council) iv. 132 Friendly model-makers from the physical sciences are tempted to construct theories of ‘how the brain works’ on the basis of a few isolated and easily mathematized facts. 1920 Glasgow Herald 29 Oct. 9 The Prince of Wales‥accepted from him a model aeroplane with which he won first prize in the junior section of a model-making competition. 1946 Nature 14 Sept. 361/2 The two tanks and propeller-testing tunnel were in operation, and it was possible to see every stage in the process of model-making and testing. 1963 L. Loevinger in H. W. Baade Jurimetrics 32 The basic elements that these procedures have in common are explication, model-making (or operational organization or programming), and the production of a testable conclusion. 1974 Country Life 12 Dec. 1869/1 The exhibition is divided into several sections each dealing with a different aspect of model-making. 1909 (title of periodical) Model railways and locomotives. 1972 Times 7 Aug. 2/4 A branch from an elm tree fell on to a model railway at Blenheim Palace. 1938 Daily Herald 21 Dec. 6/1 The collecting of model soldiers is a nursery pastime elevated into the dignity of an adult occupation by the word ‘research’. 1973 Country Life 17 May 1385/1 Model soldiers have gone far beyond the realm of child's play and toy soldiers. 1899 Morrow Bohem. Paris 43 They placed the helpless M. Haidor on the model-stand. 1898 Watts-Dunton Aylwin viii. ii, A‥burly woman,‥standing on the model-throne between two lay figures. 1969 D. E. Westlake Up your Banners (1970) xxxviii. 274 [He] never had a model train set when he was young. 1903 A. Bennett Truth about Author ii. 16 He sailed model yachts for us on the foulest canal in Europe. 1967 M. Waddell Otley Pursued viii. 64 A solitary soul wore gumboots and carried a large white model yacht.


c. Special comb.: model agency, an agency that supplies models (sense 11 or 11b); model-drawing, in art-teaching, that branch or stage of study which consists in drawing in perspective from solid figures; model girl = sense 11b; also attrib.; model-room, a room for the storage or exhibition of models of machinery and the like; model school, (a) a school intended to be a model in organization, teaching methods, etc.; (b) a school where models (sense 11b) are trained; model theory, the theory of models (sense 2e or, esp., 2f), dealing with their construction, the conditions of their validity, etc.; so model-theoretic, model-theoretical adjs., model-theoretically adv.

1945 Glamour Nov. 166/2 First, you have an interview with one of the leading model agencies, such as Conover or Powers. Ibid. 260/2 The model agency rarely selects girls for a given assignment. Invariably, the photographer calls for the girls he wants. 1950 J. D. MacDonald Brass Cupcake (1955) iv. 41, I went down to New York City.‥ A model agency took me on. 1956 S. Bellow Seize the Day (1957) i. 27, I got hold of the artist and he gave me the number of the model agency. 1972 A. MacVicar Golden Venus Affair vi. 62 He got me work with this model agency. 1973 Guardian 25 May 5/5, I mentioned reports that a model agency apparently puts men in touch with call girls. 1843 J. B. Williams (title) A manual for teaching model-drawing from solid forms. 1962 John o' London's 4 Jan. 20/1 Witches who are model girls gone macabre. 1973 A. Price October Men vii. 92 A woman in a big hat, slender like a model-girl. 1974 R. Harris Double Snare iii. 19 Her figure‥must once have been willowy in the model girl fashion. 1829 in Willis & Clark Cambridge (1886) III. 103 A Model Room for the Jacksonian Professor. 1854 Dickens Hard T. i. iii. 15 To think of these vagabonds‥attracting the young rabble from a model school. 1935 Discovery Nov. 342/1 The prime cause of the excavation was the announcement that a new model school was to be built on a field‥which‥covered part of the site of Camulodunum. 1966 A. Prior Operators iv. 40 Robin‥said he knew some people in modelling who could help her.‥ He had not been able to afford the so-called Model School. 1957 Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. LXIII. 289 (heading) Model-theoretic and decidability theorems concerning generalized products. 1963 A. Robinson Introd. Model Theory p. vi, The model-theoretic approach to set theory. 1958 Notices Amer. Math. Soc. V. 673 (heading) Some model-theoretical results concerning weak second-order logic. 1973 J. J. Zeman Modal Logic p. vi. The systems are studied model-theoretically. 1960 McGraw-Hill Encycl. Sci. & Technol. VIII. 525/2 On the basis of model theory, a small, readily modified model can be built and tested at low relative cost and the results applied to the full-scale device. 1967 S. C. Kleene Math. Logic §23. 117 In the predicate calculus, proof theory has the advantage over model theory. 1969 W. A. J. Luxemburg (title) Applications of model theory to algebra, analysis and probability.