definition of Architype by The Free Dictionary




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.

ar′che·typ′i·cal·ly adv.

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.





1. a perfect or typical specimen

2. an original model or pattern; prototype

3. (Psychoanalysis) psychoanal one of the inherited mental images postulated by Jung as the content of the collective unconscious

4. (Art Terms) a constantly recurring symbol or motif in literature, painting, etc

5. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a constantly recurring symbol or motif in literature, painting, etc

[C17: from Latin archetypum an original, from Greek arkhetupon, from arkhetupos first-moulded; see arch-, type]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈɑr kɪˌtaɪp)


1. the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; prototype.

2. (in Jungian psychology) an inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches.

[1595–1605; < Latin archetypum < Greek archétypon, neuter of archétypos molded first, archetypal]

ar`che•typ′al (-ˌtaɪ pəl) ar`che•typ′i•cal (-ˈtɪp ɪ kəl) adj.

ar`che•typ′al•ly, ar`che•typ′i•cal•ly, adv.

Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


Jung used this term to refer to such universal concepts as the “here,” which he saw as part of the collective unconscious—that part of the mind inherited from the experience of previous generations and common to us all.

Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited

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