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prototype (noun) first form or design of something
The prototype of the modern airplane is the aircraft first designed by the Wright Brothers. That is, the later planes of the modern times are the copies of the original aircraft the Wright Brothers designed and flew in. The prototype of a car, for example, is the original car a company designs before it is mass-produced and put on sale. The Neanderthal man is believed to be the prototype of the later human being.
- The prototype of the truck the company’s engineers designed had been tested for its speed and fuel efficiency before its production and sale began six months later on a large scale.
- The museum preserves the prototype of the first rocket sent to the moon. The original form of the rocket looks totally old fashioned in comparison with the modern rockets.