set an example

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set an example

To do something or act in a way other will or should emulate; to act as a model for others, good or ill. A noun or pronoun can be used after "et"; often modified with "good" or "bad" before "example." John, please don't curse like that when you're angry—it sets a bad example for the kids. I try to set an example for my employees by always arriving to work on time, replying to emails and phone calls promptly, and taking care of problems as they arise.
See also: example, set
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

set an example

Also, set a good or bad example . Behave in a way that should (or will) be imitated, as in Dad was always telling Bill to set a good example for his younger brother, or They were afraid of setting a bad example for the other nations. [Late 1700s]
See also: example, set
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

set (somebody) an eˈxample


set (somebody) a good, bad, etc. eˈxample

show a standard of work or behaviour for others to follow or copy; show a good, bad, etc. model for others: She sets us all an example (= a good example).You shouldn’t use bad language in front of your children — it sets a bad example.
See also: example, set
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
The three captives, heavily ironed, were exposed each day in the compound, as good examples of what happened to bad examples, all for the edification of the seven score and ten half-wild Poonga-Poonga men.
"It is not prudent, certainly, aunt," Ellen replied, with a vacancy in her air, that proved how little she knew what she was saying; "and it is setting a very bad example to his sons."
Au reste, we all know them: danger of bad example to innocence of childhood; distractions and consequent neglect of duty on the part of the attached--mutual alliance and reliance; confidence thence resulting- -insolence accompanying--mutiny and general blow-up.
Nevertheless, we will have it done, lest their bad example should corrupt the other hogs.
Perhaps of the bad example. That child was already sorrowing and crying enough over the rag doll.
Of course, a great deal of it was due to their stupidity, to the bad examples with which they had always been surrounded in their childhood and boyhood.
He added that he does not want the youth to emulate this bad example of divisions by the elders as it does not take them anywhere.
LAHORE -- Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal believes that pacer Mohammad Amir has set a bad example by taking retirement from Test cricket, at a young age.
ISLAMABAD -- A Chinese foreign ministry's spokesperson Monday said the US was setting a bad example by forcing a draft resolution on the listing issue at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and cautioned that it would only complicate the issue and also not be conducive to the peace and security in South Asia.
'It's easy for them to apologize and change their minds but this will really set a bad example if it is not penalized,' she said.
Their spokesman Chris Pitt said the Duke of Cambridge was setting a bad example by pursuing a sport that sees the death of 900,000 birds every year.
Striking sets a bad example I WROTE last week expressing my concerns regarding the lecturers' strike; however the piece in Wednesday's Post (page 17) made woeful reading.
He further said that he is setting a bad example among the people.
Sadly many of our MPs and people in office are a bad example.
To this end, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, while speaking to ANI, said the prime minister should at least clarify and ask the leaders to not use such words that set a bad example for the common people.