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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 Oct 1 '20 at 7:37
  • @RosieF yes indeed; I've warned that the sentence was "awkward but examplary" Sadly it's not exemplary as well. :-) – uhoh Oct 1 '20 at 7:40
  • The word anecdotal should do it for you. – Xanne Oct 1 '20 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 Oct 1 '20 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. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 1 '20 at 10:35
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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 Oct 1 '20 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 Oct 1 '20 at 8:57
  • @Greybeard I guess it's time to say "Live and learn!". – LPH Oct 1 '20 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 Oct 1 '20 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 Oct 1 '20 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 Oct 1 '20 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 Oct 1 '20 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 Oct 1 '20 at 9:25

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