1. The original pattern or model of a work; or the model from which a thing is made or formed. The house of Commons, the archetype of all the representative assemblies which now meet. (Macaulay) Types and shadows of that glorious archetype that was to come into the world. (South)
2. The standard weight or coin by which others are adjusted.
3. (Science: biology) The plan or fundamental structure on which a natural group of animals or plants or their systems of organs are assumed to have been constructed; as, the vertebrate archetype.
Origin: L. Archetypum, gr, fr. Stamped first and as model; – stamp, figure, pattern, to strike: cf. F. Archetype. See Arch-, pref.