Pronunciation: (prō'tu-tīp"), [key]
—n., v. -typed, -typ•ing.
1. the original or model on which something is based or formed.
2. someone or something that serves to illustrate the typical qualities of a class; model; exemplar: She is the prototype of a student activist.
3. something analogous to another thing of a later period: a Renaissance prototype of our modern public housing.
4. Biol.an archetype; a primitive form regarded as the basis of a group.
to create the prototype or an experimental model of: to prototype a solar-power car.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.