noun \ˈprō-tə-ˌtīp\

: 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

:  an original model on which something is patterned :  archetype
:  an individual that exhibits the essential features of a later type
:  a standard or typical example
:  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.


French, from Greek prōtotypon, from neuter of prōtotypos archetypal, from prōt- + typos type
First Known Use: 1552


Next Word in the Dictionary: prototypical
Previous Word in the Dictionary: prototypal
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