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

On January 10, Musk tweeted a photograph of a test version of Starship—essentially a prototype that can be used for suborbital VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) test flights, reaching around 16,400 feet. Ryan D'agostino, Popular Mechanics, "Elon Musk: Why I'm Building the Starship out of Stainless Steel," 22 Jan. 2019 But not everything is a de facto prototype: In the entry hallway, a large-scale black-and-white abstract painting with pops of fiery red and light blue, by Samuel’s artist father, Roger Sandes, takes up one wall. Gisela Williams, ELLE Decor, "The Vivacious 18th-Century Marakesh Medina of Two L.A. Transplants," 28 Dec. 2018 Interested developers need to come up with a team of at least five people with demonstrable experience in Unity and Java Server and send a 10-page pitch document (as opposed to a working prototype). Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Pokémon Go creators launch AR-game contest that (nearly) resembles American Idol," 21 Dec. 2018 The company have a prototype with a more easily accessible removable battery in the works. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "When the “best” busts: the spectacular rise and fall of smart luggage startup Raden," 12 Dec. 2018 And so Harris used a prototype created by the White House gift shop for Underwood. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "How Claire Underwood Will Dress as House of Cards’s Madam President," 29 Oct. 2018 Jack Constantine, Lush's product inventor, started creating a God Is a Woman prototype in the Lush Lab made in Grande's image. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Lush Cosmetics Teases Ariana Grande-Inspired Bath Bomb for "God Is a Woman" Music Video," 18 July 2018 Co-founders Lee Conn and Brian Case showed McMahon their design lab and a four-month-old prototype still in development. William Thornton, AL.com, "Birmingham Business Alliance urges legislative action," 23 Feb. 2018 Executives at both firms have been looking at prototypes of the tools that could be provided through the technology platform. Dawn Lim, WSJ, "BlackRock, Microsoft to Build Retirement-Planning Platform," 13 Dec. 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

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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