archetype

noun
ar·​che·​type | \ ˈär-ki-ˌtīp How to pronounce archetype (audio) \

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.
3 psychology : an inherited idea or mode of thought in the psychology of Carl Gustav Jung that is derived from the experience of the race and is present in the unconscious of the individual

Other Words from archetype

archetypal \ ˌär-​ki-​ˈtī-​pəl How to pronounce archetype (audio) \ or less commonly archetypical \ ˌär-​ki-​ˈti-​pi-​kəl How to pronounce archetype (audio) \ adjective
an archetypal English village
archetypally \ ˌär-​ki-​ˈti-​pə-​lē How to pronounce archetype (audio) \ or less commonly archetypically \ ˌär-​ki-​ˈti-​pi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce archetype (audio) \ adverb

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," 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."

Examples of archetype in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each of the four members of the Monkees was chosen to fill a certain archetype. Los Angeles Times, 10 Dec. 2021 In the hypercompetitive world of professional sports, a new archetype of champion has been quietly emerging over the past few years. Beau River, Forbes, 7 Nov. 2021 Julia was born on December 28, and also feels misrepresented by her astrological archetype. Whizy Kim, refinery29.com, 21 Oct. 2021 Each of these characters represents a very specific new American archetype for the show to explore, and will hopefully get a greater chance to do so in episodes yet to come. Caroline Framke, Variety, 6 Oct. 2021 Here, finally, was a new archetype for Miss America. Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2021 Tripp embodies a particular conservative archetype the historian Rick Perlstein explores in his 2009 book, Nixonland: a conservatism rooted primarily in the resentment that the ordinary and mediocre feel toward liberals with more social capital. David Klion, The New Republic, 9 Sep. 2021 Inspired by the manic pixie dream girl concept, the archetype is rooted in fantasy and the idea of having a significant other with an air of mystery and contrasting aesthetics to their partner. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, 3 Dec. 2021 The archetype of French brasseries since opening in 1899 and one of Europe’s most iconic restaurants, Fouquet’s is centrally located at the corner of Avenue George V and the Champs-Elysées. Rachel King, Fortune, 28 Nov. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of archetype

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for archetype

Latin archetypum, from Greek archetypon, from neuter of archetypos archetypal, from archein + typos type

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Time Traveler for archetype

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The first known use of archetype was in 1545

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Dictionary Entries Near archetype

Archetista

archetype

archeus

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Last Updated

7 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Archetype.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/archetype. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for archetype

archetype

noun
ar·​che·​type | \ ˈär-ki-ˌtīp How to pronounce archetype (audio) \

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 descended
b : 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

Other Words from archetype

archetypal \ ˌär-​ki-​ˈtī-​pəl How to pronounce archetype (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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