An example; a model; a pattern. (R.) "The paradigms and patterns of all things."
(Gram.) An example of a conjugation or declension, showing a word in all its different forms of inflection.
(Rhet.) An illustration, as by a parable or fable.
(Science) A theory providing a unifying explanation for a set of phenomena in some field, which serves to suggest methods to test the theory and develop a fuller understanding of the topic, and which is considered useful until it is be replaced by a newer theory providing more accurate explanations or explanations for a wider range of phenomena.