- the original or model on which something is based or formed.
- someone or something that serves to illustrate the typical qualities of a class; model; exemplar: She is the prototype of a student activist.
- something analogous to another thing of a later period: a Renaissance prototype of our modern public housing.
- Biology. an archetype; a primitive form regarded as the basis of a group.
- to create the prototype or an experimental model of: to prototype a solar-power car.
Origin of prototype
SynonymsSee more synonyms for prototype on Thesaurus.com
- 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
- a person or thing that serves as an example of a type
- biology the ancestral or primitive form of a species or other group; an archetype
Word Origin and History for prototypic
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.
- A primitive or ancestral form or species.