prototype

noun
pro·to·type | \ˈprō-tə-ˌtīp \

Definition of prototype 

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

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

3 : a standard or typical example

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

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Did You Know?

The prefix prot-, or proto-, comes from Greek and has the basic meaning "first in time" or "first formed." A prototype is someone or something that serves as a model or inspiration for those that come later. A successful fund-raising campaign can serve as a prototype for future campaigns. The legendary Robin Hood, the "prototypical" kindhearted and honorable outlaw, has been the inspiration for countless other romantic heroes. And for over a century, Vincent van Gogh has been the prototype of the brilliant, tortured artist who is unappreciated in his own time.

Examples of prototype in a Sentence

They tested the prototype of the car. He is developing a prototype for his invention. He is the prototype of a conservative businessman. The Sherlock Holmes stories are the prototypes of modern detective stories.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The prototype, just being unveiled, started with a 2018 Nissan GT-R NISMO, which was then revamped by Italdesign. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "Nissan injects Italian design into sports car concept, creating GT-R50," 29 June 2018 And this week, Slat plans to unveil progress on the first prototype of his invention to reporters in Alameda, California, showing off the ungainly, 2,000-foot-long floating screen that is scheduled to be towed into the ocean before Labor Day. James Rainey /, NBC News, "A young Dutch inventor wants to clean plastic from the ocean. Can he do it?," 13 June 2018 The Boys built the prototype in the basement of their fraternity, Delta Upsilon, using microcontrollers, inexpensive oven hoods, household power strips, and plastic trash bins, and attaching an air-conditioner to keep ingredients cool. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "When a Robot Makes You Dinner," 10 Apr. 2018 The prototype picks up the stomach’s electrical signals through 10 electrodes stuck to the belly. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Rx: Wear this on your tummy and call me in the morning," 27 Mar. 2018 The expansion is expected to start next year, said Mr. Adam, with the first prototype dish built in China already on site about 280 miles north of Cape Town in the Northern Cape province. Wendell Roelf, The Christian Science Monitor, "South Africa's MeerKAT telescope will help uncover next space frontier," 13 July 2018 Swedish self-driving truck startup Einride is out with another eye-catching prototype. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "This electric driverless logging truck can carry up to 16 tons of timber," 12 July 2018 Apple investigated and learned Zhang downloaded confidential technical documents about self-driving car prototypes. USA TODAY, "Trump attends NATO summit. That doesn't mean he has to like it," 11 July 2018 True to Microsoft’s roots, the company said the lightweight Go would also suit the needs of businesses, which have been early adopters of Microsoft hardware including the Surface line and its Hololens augmented reality glasses prototype. Hayley Tsukayama, courant.com, "Microsoft Shrinks The Surface To A Purse-Friendly Size," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prototype.' 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 prototype

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prototype

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

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Statistics for prototype

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for prototype

The first known use of prototype was in 1552

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More Definitions for prototype

prototype

noun

English Language Learners 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

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