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.
Contemporary Examples

As archetypically “presidential” as Mitt Romney seemed, his perfectly square, gee whiz speech style was part of what did him in.
For a President Today, Talkin’ Down Is Speaking American John McWhorter August 6, 2014

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

“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.

archetype ar·che·type (är’kĭ-tīp’)

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

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.
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.


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