A small object, usually built to scale, that represents in detail another, often larger object. A preliminary work or construction that serves as a plan from which a final product is to be made: a clay model ready for casting. Such a work or construction used in testing or perfecting a final product: a test model of a solar-powered vehicle. A schematic description of a system, theory, or phenomenon that accounts for its known or inferred properties and may be used for further study of its characteristics: a model of generative grammar; a model of an atom; an economic model. A style or design of an item: My car is last year's model. One serving as an example to be imitated or compared: a model of decorum. See Synonyms at ideal. One that serves as the subject for an artist, especially a person employed to pose for a painter, sculptor, or photographer. A person employed to display merchandise, such as clothing or cosmetics. Zoology An animal whose appearance is copied by a mimic. To make or construct a model of. To plan, construct, or fashion according to a model. To make conform to a chosen standard: He modeled his manners on his father's. To make by shaping a plastic substance: modeled a bust from clay. To form (clay, for example) into a shape. To display by wearing or posing. In painting, drawing, and photography, to give a three-dimensional appearance to, as by shading or highlighting. To make a model. To serve or work as a model. Being, serving as, or used as a model. Worthy of imitation: a model child.