What does archetype mean?

Definitions for archetypeˈɑr kɪˌtaɪp

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word archetype.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. original, archetype, pilot(noun)

    something that serves as a model or a basis for making copies

    "this painting is a copy of the original"


  1. archetype(Noun)

    An original model of which all other similar persons, objects, or concepts are merely derivative, copied, patterned, or emulated; a prototype

  2. archetype(Noun)

    A character, story, or object that is based on a known character, story, or object.

  3. archetype(Noun)

    An ideal example of something; a quintessence.

  4. archetype(Noun)

    According to the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, a universal pattern of thought, present in an individual's unconscious, inherited from the past collective experience of humanity.

  5. archetype(Verb)

    To depict as, model using or otherwise associate a subject or object with an archetype.

  6. Origin: From architipe (French archétype), from archetypum, from ἀρχέτυπον neuter of ἀρχέτυπος, from ἀρχή + τύπος.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Archetype(noun)

    the original pattern or model of a work; or the model from which a thing is made or formed

  2. Archetype(noun)

    the standard weight or coin by which others are adjusted

  3. Archetype(noun)

    the plan or fundamental structure on which a natural group of animals or plants or their systems of organs are assumed to have been constructed; as, the vertebrate archetype

  4. Origin: [L. archetypum, Gr. 'arche`typon, fr. 'arche`typos stamped first and as model; 'arche = 'archi + ty`pos stamp, figure, pattern, ty`ptein to strike: cf. F. archtype. See Arch-, pref.]


  1. Archetype

    An archetype is a universally understood symbol, term, statement, or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated. Archetypes are often used in myths and storytelling across different cultures. In psychology, an archetype is a model of a person, personality, or behavior. In philosophy, archetypes have, since Plato, referred to ideal forms of the perceived or sensible objects or types. In the analysis of personality, the term archetype is often broadly used to refer to: ⁕A stereotype— a personality type observed multiple times, especially an oversimplification of such a type. ⁕An epitome— a personality type exemplified, especially the "greatest" such example. ⁕A literary term to express details. Archetype refers to a generic version of a personality. In this sense, "mother figure" may be considered an archetype, and may be identified in various characters with otherwise distinct personalities. Archetypes are likewise supposed to have been present in folklore and literature for thousands of years, including prehistoric artwork. The use of archetypes to illuminate personality and literature was advanced by Carl Jung early in the 20th century, who suggested the existence of universal contentless forms that channel experiences and emotions, resulting in recognizable and typical patterns of behavior with certain probable outcomes. Archetypes are cited as important to both ancient mythology and modern narratives.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Archetype

    ärk′e-tīp, n. the original pattern or model, a prototype.—adj. Archetyp′al. [Gr. archetypon, archi-, and typos, a model.]

Suggested Resources

  1. archetype

    Song lyrics by archetype -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by archetype on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of archetype in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of archetype in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Debbie Sterling:

    There's the boy-genius archetype in media that suggests that unless you have IQ off the charts, you're not good enough. I think that archetype is really damaging.

Images & Illustrations of archetype

  1. archetypearchetypearchetype

Translations for archetype

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"archetype." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 18 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/archetype>.

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