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"Examplary" doesn't appear to be a real English word, and I'm not searching for exemplary because I'm just interested in practical, instructive examples, not necessarily anything especially good nor a particularly desirable model.

What I'm looking for would be used in some form of the following awkward but examplary sentence:

The speaker mentioned several occurrences in an examplary way, showing how each was a helpful example of the class of events. They found that immediately after a definition and explanation this example-providing process was important in order for the students to grasp the underlying concept.

Is there a real English word that would work the way I'm trying to use the fake word examplary?

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  • I'd rephrase: The speaker gave examples of several occurrences, showing.... Indeed, your later phrase "helpful example" might mean you don't have to have an earlier word with a similar meaning at all: The speaker mentioned several occurrences, showing how each was a helpful example of the class of events.
    – Rosie F
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 7:37
  • @RosieF yes indeed; I've warned that the sentence was "awkward but examplary" Sadly it's not exemplary as well. :-)
    – uhoh
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 7:40
  • The word anecdotal should do it for you.
    – Xanne
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 7:55
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    "Examplary" and "exemplary" are the same word. The spelling "examplary" was last used around the 15th century: OED: Forms: 15–16 examplarie, 15–16 exemplarie, 15– examplary (now nonstandard), 15– exemplary, 16 exempleary. do you mean the context in the example in the block quote? Yes.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 8:51
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    The unmarked term is, as LPH says, 'instantial'. 'Used for the purposes of example.' Terms such as 'archetypal', 'paradigmatic' refer to 'the killer example', the one that defines the set. Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 10:35

2 Answers 2

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The adjective "instantial" seems to have the exact meaning sought.

(SOED) Of or pertaining to an instance or instances; providing an instance

"Instance" can be considered a good synonym of "example".

Addition providing a comparison of frequency of use with the possibility of using "by way of example" instead (term proposed in user Greybeard's's answer)

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  • Interesting. I want to say it doesn't, but it does indeed seem to work quite well. I can't figure out any way that an example of something isn't also an instance of it or vice versa. Thanks!
    – uhoh
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 8:36
  • I see "instantial" as a $10 word: one that is going to cause the reader to stumble (and maybe reach for a dictionary.) I would say "The speaker mentioned several occurrences by way of example,"
    – Greybeard
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 8:57
  • @Greybeard I guess it's time to say "Live and learn!".
    – LPH
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 9:00
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    @uhoh You will note that "example" is used as part of an prepositional adverbial phrase and is uncountable. It may applies to the verb, not the object.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 9:23
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    @uhoh Having thought about it, I feel that "by way of example" is probably a free modifier, (thoughtco.com/free-modifier-grammar-1690807), hence its adverbial quality.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 9:31
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"Examplary" doesn't appear to be a real English word,"

"Examplary" and "exemplary" are the same word. The spelling "examplary" was last used around the 15th century:

OED:

Forms: 15–16 examplarie, 15–16 exemplarie, 15– examplary (now nonstandard), 15– exemplary, 16 exempleary.

exemplary = A. adj.1a. That sets or affords a good example; admirable, commendable; (later also more generally) excellent, outstanding, perfect.

2010 Los Angeles Times 30 Dec. d1 He's embraced by hero-worshipers as an exemplary Christian.

Your problem is that your quoted context does not really support the word in its current/main meaning.

I would say "The speaker mentioned several occurrences by way of example,"

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  • "Your problem is..." makes me uncomfortable because I do not have a problem. I have made a single-word-request and explained that exemplary will not work because it's definition is different. However thank you for filling me in on a 15th century spelling of a different word that coincides with my example.
    – uhoh
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 9:16
  • @uhoh I think that, ubnfortunately, you have misunderstood. "Your problem" refers to your problem in choosing the correct word. You asked the question about that subject - it is therefore to be assumed that you had a problem.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 9:20
  • I see. I would write "The challenge here is that the quoted context..." so as not to single out another SE user personally. I try (but fail regularly) to address the question itself rather than the OP. I try to write timeless answers that feel as useful to any reader in the future as to the OP of the moment.
    – uhoh
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 9:25

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