Definition of archetype
1 : the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies : prototype … the House of Commons, the archetype of all the representative assemblies which now meet … — Thomas Babington Macaulay; also : a perfect example He is the archetype of a successful businessman.
2 : idea 1a
3 psychology : an inherited idea or mode of thought in the psychology of C. G. Jung that is derived from the experience of the race and is present in the unconscious of the individual
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Recent Examples of archetype from the Web
Down to its last crisp shards, the pan-jun, a seafood pancake thick with scallions and shrimp, is on par with the archetype that has been luring Angelenos to Kobawoo House since 1983.
In many ways, Gore is the perfect archetype of the modern-day climate movement: monotonous, hyperbolic, and opportunistic.
The show really rejects archetypes of heroes and villains that are really a bit tired.
They all are easily pinned to a particular Southern musical archetype.
The stage is shorn of the usual Gypsies and bullfighters; Don José and the clinic’s employees, reading from scripts, embody archetypes in a fantasy of masculine revenge.
Ninety percent of foes couldn’t hold a candle to my plucky squad of anime archetypes, who were seemingly able to catch bullets with their teeth and cut through molecules with their blades.
Centuries of expanding and contracting border lines, nomadic ethnic groups like the Roma and 150 years of Turkish occupation have turned Budapest into a unique archetype relative to the rest of the region.
One can see what the Nuggets might like in Lydon, though why his (and Lyles’) archetype would be such a clear target isn’t immediately clear.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'archetype'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Archetype derives via Latin from the Greek adjective archetypos ("archetypal"), formed from the verb "archein" ("to begin" or "to rule") and the noun "typos" ("type"). ("Archein" also gave us the prefix arch-, meaning "principal" or "extreme" and used to form such words as "archenemy," "archduke," and "archconservative.") "Archetype" has specific uses in the fields of philosophy and psychology. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato, for example, believed that all things have ideal forms (aka archetypes) of which real things are merely shadows or copies. And in the psychology of C. G. Jung, "archetype" refers to an inherited idea or mode of thought that is present in the unconscious of the individual. In everyday prose, however, "archetype" is most commonly used to mean "a perfect example of something."
Origin and Etymology of archetype
Latin archetypum, from Greek archetypon, from neuter of archetypos archetypal, from archein + typos type
First Known Use: 1545See Words from the same year
Medical Definition of archetype
1a: a primitive generalized plan of structure deduced from the characters of a natural group of plants or animals and assumed to be the characteristic of the ancestor from which they are all descendedb: the original ancestor of a group of plants or animals
2: an inherited idea or mode of thought in the psychology of C. G. Jung that is derived from the experience of the race and is present in the unconscious of the individual
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See words that rhyme with archetype Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for archetype Spanish Central: Translation of archetype Nglish: Translation of archetype for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of archetype for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about archetype
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