Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

prototype

play
noun pro·to·type \ˈprō-tə-ˌtīp\

Simple Definition of prototype

  • : an original or first model of something from which other forms are copied or developed

  • : someone or something that has the typical qualities of a particular group, kind, etc.

  • : a first or early example that is used as a model for what comes later

Full Definition of prototype

  1. 1 :  an original model on which something is patterned :  archetype

  2. 2 :  an individual that exhibits the essential features of a later type

  3. 3 :  a standard or typical example

  4. 4 :  a first full-scale and usually functional form of a new type or design of a construction (as an airplane)

Examples of prototype

  1. They tested the prototype of the car.

  2. He is developing a prototype for his invention.

  3. He is the prototype of a conservative businessman.

  4. The Sherlock Holmes stories are the prototypes of modern detective stories.



Origin of prototype

French, from Greek prōtotypon, from neuter of prōtotypos archetypal, from prōt- + typos type


First Known Use: 1552



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up prototype? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders spindrift duvet pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ