AbstractExample sentences for targeted words in a dictionary play an important role to help readers understand the usage of words. Traditionally, example sentences in a dictionary are usually created by linguistics experts, which are labor-intensive and knowledge-intensive. In this paper, we introduce the problem of dictionary example sentence generation, aiming to automatically generate dictionary example sentences for targeted words according to the corresponding definitions. This task is challenging especially for polysemous words, because the generated sentences need to reflect different usages and meanings of these targeted words. Targeted readers may also have different backgrounds and educational levels. It is essential to generate example sentences that can be understandable for different backgrounds and levels of audiences. To solve these problems, we propose a controllable target-word-aware model for this task. Our proposed model can generate reasonable examples for targeted words, even for polysemous words. In addition, our model allows users to provide explicit control over attributes related to readability, such as length and lexical complexity, thus generating suitable examples for targeted audiences. Automatic and human evaluations on the Oxford dictionary dataset show that our model can generate suitable examples for targeted words with specific definitions while meeting the desired readability.