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 periodicals archive ?
And set an example the Broncos did, winning the sportsmanship award.
The former prime minister said that the project "is a unique model in Lebanon, and it will set an example for the correct way to process solid waste in the country."
Turkey now has a great deal of experience to set an example for them.
Campaigners called it an "own goal" and a "total con", instead urging rich countries to set an example by cutting their emissions by 40 per cent by 2020 without carbon offsetting.
If the Home Secretary wants us to control the alcohol consumption and the rowdy behaviour of our young people, she ought to set an example by controlling such consumption and behaviour first in the Palace of Westminster I did not see this week's broadcast of Prime Minister's Questions.
The Union of Students in Ireland wants the state to set an example to other countries by fixing anti-discriminatory laws.
I think they should set an example to the general public.
However, almost half of those same executives will undermine trainers' efforts by failing to set an example of what good leadership looks like; refusing to go on training courses themselves and showing no interest in sharing responsibility for ensuring training initiatives are valued and recognised within the company.
"I don't smoke at work now, or at home, so I thought I should give up altogether and set an example for my kids."
"We want to set an example for the kids," says Cain.
Gerry Barr, President-CEO of the Canadian Council of International Co-operation, points out that, "Poverty fuels the AIDS pandemic and AIDS is devastating communities and local economies, relegating millions to live and die in poverty." He adds, "Women and children are bearing the brunt of this pandemic--this vicious circle can and must be stopped." The government of Canada should set an example for the G8 countries by bringing its international development contributions up to the long recommended standard of 0.7% of gross national income.
It follows that if anyone is to set an example of international good manners for the rest of the world, it should be, first and foremost, the Humanists.
We need a legion of Constances, Vivians, and Rosas to set an example that will help us imagine a Catholic Church free at last from sexism and patriarchy.
Embracing sustainable design allows colleges and universities to lead by example and set an example for students and the public to follow.
We can set an example that may greatly influence the pace of convergence activities and timetables in many other countries and at the same time ensure the global standard-setting process fully considers our views.