make an example (out) of (one)

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make an example (out) of (one)

To punish one harshly so that others will avoid committing the same offense in order to avoid such punishment. The judge was known to make an example of certain criminals by handing out severe sentences. Miss Johnson made an example of out Timmy when he started talking during the presentation, and everybody else was dead silent afterward.
See also: example, make, of

make an example of someone

to do something to someone that shows the bad results of bad behavior; to point to someone as a bad example. The judge said that he would make an example of Sally and would fine her the maximum amount. The teacher made an example of me to the class, with a detention on the first day of school.
See also: example, make, of

make an example of

Punish someone so as to be a warning to others, as in The teacher made an example of the boy she caught cheating, or The judge imposed a tough sentence to make an example of the car thieves. This usage is first recorded in John Wycliffe's followers' translation of the Bible (c. 1382).
See also: example, make, of

make an eˈxample of somebody

punish somebody severely for a mistake, crime, etc. so that others will be less likely to do wrong: The judge decided to make an example of the leaders of the riot in order to prevent other disturbances.
See also: example, make, of, somebody
References in classic literature ?
No opportunity had presented itself of making an example of insolence or insubordination--such as had occurred on every other day since the sickness smote Berande.
They had never been duck-hunting there since, but others had, and the bold yeoman was very sore on the subject, and bent on making an example of the first boys he could catch.
Nor is making an example of someone, just to uphold the rule of the law, a substitute for truth and justice.
I had the impression that the officer was making an example of him," he said.
A sheriff told the three, who went on the rampage eight weeks after the jail opened, that he was making an example of them.
Jailing Hardy for four months, Judge Paul Thomas QC said he was making an example of him.
Only by making an example of the guilty can the public be reassured that police efforts are to obtain the truth and nothing but the truth.
A CSA spokeswoman said: "We are making an example of non-resident parents who commit these offences to encourage others to give us the information we need straightaway.
Metropolitan Police commissioner Ian Blair keeps rabbiting on about making an example of celebrities who take drugs.
Making an example of Beijing might simply create economic hardships for innocent people in China as well as American companies that do business with China.
But by the time the National Executive meets it will be over a week since the Mahon Report was published - and expelling members who have already resigned is hardly making an example of them.
Now I'm in no way condoning benefit fraud but here is the state making an example of somebody to ensure that other people get the message to save the state money.
FOOTBALL: Joey Barton's agent Willie McKay has accused Manchester City of making an example of the player because he is "an easy target".
But 37-year-old knitwear worker Irvine, who was sent off for violent play, accused the SRU of making an example of him and effectively ending his 15-year rugby career.