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archetype (noun) the original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; the perfect example of a type of persons or things.
The original pattern setting the model for others following it is the archetype. It is also called the prototype. The airplanes made after the first airplane designed by the Wright Brothers have all been basically patterned on it, so the airplane first flown by the Wright Brothers is the archetype of all airplanes. Similarly the first printing press developed by John Gutenberg is the archetype of all printing presses. An archetype also means the perfect example of a type of persons. Abraham in the Bible is the archetype of several Israelites favored by God. That is, Abraham is the best example of a person of the Israelite race favored especially by God. After him, there were other Israelites blessed by God.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation, detective Sherlock Holmes, is the archetype of the detectives to be created later by several other writers of detective fiction.
- Florence Nightingale can be regarded as the archetype of modern nurses. She showed, by her care for the wounded and the diseased, how nursing is as important and vital as treatment.