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 periodicals archive ?
Johnson will also want to establish his authority early on and the best way to do that is to lay the law down by making an example of one of the so-called 'untouchables' in the squad.
Not, as some have suggested, that the Australian authorities are out to flex their muscles in front of the Poms by making an example of one of their stars.
By making an example of one popular illegal service, all the record labels succeeded in doing was raising awareness of the unstoppable file trading and music swapping going on over the internet.
It would be easy to see this as one more anti-gay statement, as the bullying of one more woman like Ivone Gebara and others before her, or even a case of making an example of one community in order to keep the others terrified and in line.