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[ahr-ki-tahyp] /ˈɑr kɪˌtaɪp/
the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype.
(in Jungian psychology) a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches.
1595-1605; < Latin archetypum an original < Greek archétypon a model, pattern (neuter of archétypos of the first mold, equivalent to arche- arche- + týp(os) mold, type + -os adj. suffix)
Related forms
archetypal, archetypical
[ahr-ki-tip-i-kuh l] /ˌɑr kɪˈtɪp ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
archetypic, adjective
archetypally, archetypically, adverb
Can be confused
archetype, prototype. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for archetypes
  • archetypes come and go but until all life comes to an end there will never be a void forever.
  • Once labeled, both movements quickly surrendered their visual archetypes to the cultural mainstream.
  • On the one hand, they have been archetypes of eccentricity.
  • DC characters because are such perfect mythic archetypes.
  • But the piece is a thicket of symbols and archetypes rather than a story line in the usual sense.
  • LL histories that live in our hearts are peopled by archetypes in mythic narratives.
  • It's a story about archetypes who orbit around the horses and the track.
  • The ways in which these archetypes evolve in the public mind are clearly demonstrated in the sheet music.
  • Patient archetypes, physician archetypes, and tailored diabetes care.
British Dictionary definitions for archetypes


a perfect or typical specimen
an original model or pattern; prototype
(psychoanal) one of the inherited mental images postulated by Jung as the content of the collective unconscious
a constantly recurring symbol or motif in literature, painting, etc
Word Origin
C17: from Latin archetypum an original, from Greek arkhetupon, from arkhetupos first-moulded; see arch-, type
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for archetypes



"original pattern from which copies are made," 1540s, from Latin archetypum, from Greek arkhetypon "pattern, model, figure on a seal," neuter of adjective arkhetypos "first-moulded," from arkhe- "first" (see archon) + typos "model, type, blow, mark of a blow" (see type). Jungian psychology sense of "pervasive idea or image from the collective unconscious" is from 1919.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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archetypes in Medicine

archetype ar·che·type (är'kĭ-tīp')

  1. An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned.

  2. In Jungian psychology, an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic image that is derived from the past collective experience of humanity and is present in the unconscious of the individual. Also called imago.

ar'che·typ'al (-tī'pəl) or ar'che·typ'ic (-tĭp'ĭk) or ar'che·typ'i·cal adj.
ar'che·typ'i·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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archetypes in Culture
archetype [(ahr-ki-teyep)]

An original model after which other similar things are patterned. In the psychology of Carl Jung, archetypes are the images, patterns, and symbols that rise out of the collective unconscious and appear in dreams, mythology, and fairy tales.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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