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archetype

IPA

How to pronounce archetype (audio)

Dictionary definition of 'archetype'

A fundamental and universally recognized model or pattern that embodies essential qualities and characteristics of a particular concept, symbol, character, or theme.
"The archetype of the villain often represents the darker side of humanity."

Detailed meaning of 'archetype'

It represents the quintessential version of a particular type of person, object, or concept. For example, in literature, a knight in shining armor is an archetype of chivalry and bravery. In psychology, the "wise old man" archetype represents the embodiment of wisdom, guidance and mentor-ship. In fashion, the "little black dress" is an archetype of elegant simplicity. It's a classic example that serves as a benchmark for others to compare against. This concept of archetype as a typical example is used in various fields such as literature, psychology, marketing, and design to create a common understanding and reference point.

History and etymology of 'archetype'

The noun 'archetype' has its etymological roots in ancient Greek. It is derived from the combination of two Greek words: 'archē,' meaning 'original' or 'first,' and 'typos,' meaning 'model' or 'type.' In ancient Greek philosophy and culture, an 'archetype' referred to a prime or original model that embodied essential qualities and characteristics. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, popularized the term in the context of psychology, where it came to represent universally recognized and recurring patterns, symbols, characters, or themes in the collective human unconscious. These archetypes serve as fundamental building blocks of human understanding and storytelling, reflecting enduring aspects of the human experience. The etymology of 'archetype' emphasizes its role as an original and timeless model that transcends cultures and epochs, resonating with the core of human existence.

Example sentences containing 'archetype'

1. The archetype of the underdog resonates with many people.
2. The concept of the American Dream is an archetype in U.S. culture.
3. The archetype of the nurturing mother is found in many cultures.
4. Jung explored the concept of the collective unconscious and archetypes.
5. The concept of the outlaw is a recurring archetype in Westerns.
6. The wise old sage is a familiar archetype in Eastern philosophy.
7. The explorer archetype drives characters to seek new horizons.
8. The archetype of the damsel in distress is challenged in modern storytelling.
9. The archetype of the warrior is celebrated in many epic tales.
10. The artist often plays the role of the creative archetype.
11. The archetype of the rebel challenges societal norms.
12. The archetype of the trickster can be both mischievous and clever.
13. Recognizing archetypes can deepen our understanding of storytelling.

Synonyms

synonym

Quiz categories containing 'archetype'

category

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Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game

Same/different

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Spelling Bee

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