1580s, "fit to be an example," from French exemplaire, from Late Latin exemplaris "that serves as an example, pattern, or motto," from exemplum "example, pattern, model" (see example). Earlier (early 15c.) as a noun meaning "a model of conduct," from Late Latin exemplarium.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to take, distribute."
It forms all or part of: assume; consume; emption; example; exemplar; exemplary; exemplify; exempt; exemption; impromptu; peremptory; pre-emption; premium; presume; presumption; prompt; pronto; ransom; redeem; redemption; resume; sample; sejm; subsume; sumptuary; sumptuous; vintage.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit yamati "holds, subdues;" Latin emere "buy," originally "take," sumere "to take, obtain, buy;" Old Church Slavonic imo "to take;" Lithuanian imu, imti "to take."
For the sense shift from "take" to "buy" in the Latin verbs, compare Old English sellan "to give," source of Modern English sell "to give in exchange for money;" Hebrew laqah "he bought," originally "he took;" and colloquial English I'll take it for "I'll buy it."