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model (adj.)

1844, from model (n.).

model (n.)

1570s, "likeness made to scale; architect's set of designs," from Middle French modelle (16c., Modern French modèle), from Italian modello "a model, mold," from Vulgar Latin *modellus, from Latin modulus "a small measure, standard," diminutive of modus "manner, measure" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures"). Sense of "a thing or person to be imitated" is from 1630s.

If the Model Boy was in either of these Sunday-schools, I did not see him. The Model Boy of my time—we never had but the one—was perfect: perfect in manners, perfect in dress, perfect in conduct, perfect in filial piety, perfect in exterior godliness; but at bottom he was a prig; and as for the contents of his skull, they could have changed place with the contents of a pie and nobody would have been the worse off for it but the pie. ["Mark Twain," "Life on the Mississippi," 1883]

Meaning "motor vehicle of a particular design" is from 1900 (such as Model T, 1908; Ford's other early models included C, F, and B). Sense of "artist's model" is first recorded 1690s; that of "fashion model" is from 1904. German, Swedish modell, Dutch, Danish model are from French or Italian.

model (v.)

1660s, "fashion in clay or wax," from model (n.). Earlier was modelize (c. 1600). From 1915 in the sense "to act as a fashion model, to display (clothes)." Related: Modeled; modeling; modelled; modelling.