Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

prototype

[proh-tuh-tahyp]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the original or model on which something is based or formed.
  2. someone or something that serves to illustrate the typical qualities of a class; model; exemplar: She is the prototype of a student activist.
  3. something analogous to another thing of a later period: a Renaissance prototype of our modern public housing.
  4. Biology. an archetype; a primitive form regarded as the basis of a group.
verb (used with object), pro·to·typed, pro·to·typ·ing.
  1. to create the prototype or an experimental model of: to prototype a solar-power car.

Origin of prototype

1595–1605; < New Latin prōtotypon < Greek prōtótypon, noun use of neuter of prōtótypos original. See proto-, type
Related formspro·to·typ·al, pro·to·typ·i·cal [proh-tuh-tip-i-kuh l] /ˌproʊ təˈtɪp ɪ kəl/, pro·to·typ·ic, adjectivepro·to·typ·i·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedarchetype prototype

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. pattern.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for prototype

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Who is this ancient teacher or who is his prototype if he is an ideal being?

    Cyropaedia

    Xenophon

  • Xenophon's own strategy in the Anabasis is probably the prototype.

    Cyropaedia

    Xenophon

  • Prototype, when Agesilaus meditated the advance on Persia, just before his recall.

    Cyropaedia

    Xenophon

  • Prototype, a procession to Eleusis or elsewhere: the Panathenaic, possibly.

    Cyropaedia

    Xenophon

  • It has served as a prototype of most ancient and modern books.


British Dictionary definitions for prototype

prototype

noun
  1. one of the first units manufactured of a product, which is tested so that the design can be changed if necessary before the product is manufactured commercially
  2. a person or thing that serves as an example of a type
  3. biology the ancestral or primitive form of a species or other group; an archetype
Derived Formsprototypal, prototypic (ˌprəʊtəˈtɪpɪk) or prototypical, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for prototype

n.

c.1600, from French prototype (16c.) and directly from Medieval Latin prototypus "original, primitive," from Greek prototypon "a first or primitive form," noun use of neuter singular of prototypos "original, primitive," from protos "first" (see proto-) + typos "impression, mold, pattern" (see type (n.)). In English from 1590s as prototypon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

prototype in Medicine

prototype

(prōtə-tīp′)
n.
  1. A primitive or ancestral form or species.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.