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1. An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype: "'Frankenstein' ... 'Dracula' ... 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' ... the archetypes that have influenced all subsequent horror stories" (New York Times).
2. An ideal example of a type; quintessence: an archetype of the successful entrepreneur.
3. In Jungian psychology, an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from past collective experience and present in the individual unconscious.
[Latin archetypum, from Greek arkhetupon, from neuter of arkhetupos, original : arkhe-, arkhi-, archi- + tupos, model, stamp.]
ar′che·typ′al (-tī′pəl), ar′che·typ′ic (-tĭp′ĭk), ar′che·typ′i·cal adj.
Usage Note: The ch in archetype, and in many other English words of Greek origin such as architect and chorus, represents a transliteration of Greek X (chi), and its standard pronunciation is (k). The pronunciation of ch in these words as (ch) is generally considered incorrect. Notable exceptions in which the ch is in fact pronounced (ch) include words formed by adding the prefix arch- to an existing English word, as in archenemy or archrival, and also words such as archbishop and archdeacon that date back to Old English, having been borrowed directly from Late Latin and Late Greek.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.