From French prototype or Late Latin prototypon, from Ancient Greek πρωτότυπος (prōtótupos, “original; prototype”), from πρωτο- (prōto-, “prefix meaning ‘first’”) (from πρῶτος (prôtos, “first; earliest”)) + τῠ́πος (túpos, “blow, pressing; sort, type”) (from τύπτω (túptō, “to beat, strike”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)tewp- (“to push; to stick”)). The word is analysable as proto- + -type.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈpɹəʊtətʌɪp/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈpɹoʊtəˌtaɪp/, /-ɾə-/
Audio (GA) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: pro‧to‧type
prototype (plural prototypes)
- An original form or object which is a basis for other forms or objects (particularly manufactured items), or for its generalizations and models. [from late 16th c.]
- 1658, Thomas Browne, “The Garden of Cyrus. […]. Chapter I.”, in Hydriotaphia, Urne-buriall, […] Together with The Garden of Cyrus, […], London: […] Hen[ry] Brome […], OCLC 48702491; reprinted as Hydriotaphia (The English Replicas), New York, N.Y.: Payson & Clarke Ltd., 1927, OCLC 78413388, pages 102–103:
- And if Jordan were but Jaar Eden, that is, the Riuer of Eden, Geneſar but Ganſar or the Prince of Gardens; and it could be made out, that the Plain of Jordan were watered not comparatively, but cauſally, and becauſe it was the Paradiſe of God, as the Learned Abramas hinteth, he was not far from the Prototype and originall of Plantations.
- 1694, [William Sherlock], A Defence of Dr. Sherlock’s Notion of a Trinity in Unity, […], London: Printed for W. Rogers, […], OCLC 1015514133, pages 28–29:
- [T]his Holy Trinity is not Three Divine Attributes, ſuch as Wiſdom, Power, and Goodneſs; for they are all Three the very ſame with each other, the ſame Wiſdom, Goodneſs, and Power, and therefore not Three Parts or Attributes of the ſame Deity, but each is the whole, the Prototype, and its living Image is.
- 1839 August, “Plautus. [...]”, in Foreign Monthly Review, and Continental Literary Journal, volume I, number IV, London: D[avid] Nutt, […]; Dulau and Co., […]; Berlin: Asher; Paris: Gayet and Lebrun, OCLC 47248175, page 417:
- Only one manuscript of Plautus seems to have escaped the general wreck of ancient literature; and it served as the prototype to all the manuscripts at present extant.
- 1872 October 31, “International Metric Commission”, in Nature: A Weekly Illustrated Journal of Science, volume VI, number 157, London; New York, N.Y.: Macmillan and Co., OCLC 64051812, section III (In Reference to the Carrying Out of the Commission's Decision), article 34, page 544, column 2:
- The making of the new prototypes of the metre and the kilogramme, the tracing of the metres, the comparison of the new prototypes with those of the Archives, as well as the construction of the auxillary apparatus necessary to these operations, are entrusted to the care of the French section, with the concurrence of the Permanent Committee, […]
- An early sample or model built to test a concept or process.
- The prototype had loose wires and rough edges, but it worked.
- 1952 August, “[Washington Reporting] General Dynamics will Build Second Nuclear Sub”, in The Log, volume 47, number 9, Bristol, Conn.: Miller Freeman Publications, OCLC 30746570, page 24, column 3:
- General Electric, under contract to the A.E.C., is now building a land-based prototype of this nuclear-power plant at West Milton, N.Y. A land-based prototype of the nuclear-power plant for the "Nautilus," developed jointly by the A.E.C.'s Argonne National Laboratory and the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, is now being built by Westinghouse, also under contract to the A.E.C.
- 1961 March, “Talking of trains”, in Trains Illustrated, page 133:
- Unfortunately however, what may seem on paper an ideal specification for a particular type of machine does not always prove to be so in practice and the German Federal Railway submits prototypes of every new design to long and exhaustive tests before plans are made to put it into service.
- (computing) A declaration of a function that specifies the name, return type, and parameters, but none of the body or actual code.
- 2005, J. B. Dixit, “Unit-5: Functions and Pointers”, in Sangeeta Dixit, editor, Fundamentals of Computing, new edition, New Delhi: Laxmi Publications, →ISBN, page 355:
- Like any variable in a C program it is necessary to prototype or declare a function before its use, if it returns a value other than an int. It informs the compiler that the function would be referenced at a later stage in the program. / For example, / In program 1, the statement / void display_message(); / is a function prototype or declaration. Here void specifies that this function does not return any value, and the empty parenthesis[sic, meaning parentheses] indicate that it takes no parameters (arguments).
- (semantics) An instance of a category or a concept that combines its most representative attributes.
- A robin is a prototype of a bird; a penguin is not.
- 2014, Cecil H. Brown, “A Survey of Category Types in Natural Language”, in S[avas] L. Tsohatzidis, editor, Meanings and Prototypes: Studies in Linguistic Categorization (Routledge Library Editions: Linguistics), London; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, →ISBN, part 1 (On the Content of Prototype Categories: Questions of Word Meaning), page 23:
- If the robin is the prototype of bird, do particular examples of robin constitute that prototype for different people? I think not. Rather, prototypes are themselves categories. Thus, to say that a robin is a prototypic bird is to propose that a class of similar creatures called robin is a prototype of bird.
- 2015, [anonymous], “Introduction”, in Words, Affixes, and Clitics as Prototype Categories: Seminar Paper, [Munich, Bavaria]: GRIN Verlag, →ISBN, page 2:
- Although it is common knowledge today that a great many linguistic categories are, indeed, prototype categories […], a number of linguists still perceive grammatical categories as being classical in their nature […]. These linguists are reluctant to accept the idea that prototypicality might be relevant to grammar and that grammatical categories, like all other categories, can also display prototype effects.
- (motor racing) A type of race car, a racing sports car not based on a production car. A 4-wheeled cockpit-seating car built especially for racing on sports car circuits, that does not use the silhouette related to a consumer road car.
- (basis for other forms or objects): see Thesaurus:exemplar
- (motorsport): racing prototype, sports prototype, prototype racecar
- (transitive) To create a prototype of.
- 1807 July, Alex. Denmark, T. Bradley and R[obert] Batty, editor, [Mr. Denmark, in Answer to Mr. Chalmers.] To the Editors of the Medical and Physical Journal., volume XVIII, number 101, London: Printed for R[ichard] Phillips, by W[illiam] Thorne, […], OCLC 1041709964, page 66:
- In short, he has purposely perverted the whole case from beginning to end, and distorted it in such a manner, as not to be prototyped except by his own mind; […]
- 1857, Spencer T[imothy] Hall, “The Wye and Dove”, in The Peak and the Plain: Scenes in Woodland, Field, and Mountain, 2nd edition, London: Houlston and Wright, […], OCLC 559839738, page 345:
- [Y]ou may form acquaintance with the Wye before it sees the light, by penetrating that interesting cavern, Poole's Hole, as I have several times before. It is a wondrous place, and worthy of a far more dignified name; a sort of crypt in Nature's vast cathedral; an assemblage of all grotesque, fantastic and beautiful mineral formations, in a fretted vault not made by man, yet mimicking or prototyping all his art.
- 1859, Frederic W[illiam] H[enry] Myers, “Burns Centenary Poems. I.”, in George Anderson and John Finlay, editors, The Burns Centenary Poems: A Collection of Fifty of the Best out of Many Hundreds Written on Occasion of the Centenary Celebration, […], Glasgow: Thomas Murray and Son; Edinburgh: John Menzies; London: Arthur Hall, Virtue and Co.; Dublin: M'Glashan and Gill, OCLC 315650392, stanza V, page 3:
- [W]hatsoe'er the poet sings, / Of prototyped in nature or in man, / Moves deeply, though it touch not wrath of kings / Or frantic battle-van.
- 1995, Eugene Fiume, “Mathematical Computation”, in An Introduction to Scientific, Symbolic, and Graphical Computation, Wellesley, Mass.: A K Peters, →ISBN, section 0.2 (Themes of This Book), page 4:
- The following themes will arise repeatedly in this book: / • the use of symbolic computation to prototype the behaviour of models.
- 2014, James A. Langbridge, “The History of ARM”, in Professional Embedded ARM Development, Indianapolis, Ind.: Wrox, John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, part I (ARM Systems and Development), pages 4–5:
- The BBC wanted a computer to go with their television series and started to look for candidate systems. […] Several companies competed for the contract, and the Proton project was an ideal candidate. The only problem was the Proton didn't actually exist. It was only in the design stage; it wasn't prototyped. Acorn had little time, only 4 days, and spent those 4 days working night and day, prototyping the design, and getting the Proton ready to show to the BBC. […] The BBC Micro was born.
- ^ James A. H. Murray [et al.], editors (1884–1928), “Prototype”, in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), volume VII (O–P), London: Clarendon Press, OCLC 15566697, page 1512, column 2.
- ^ “prototype”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
prototype m (plural prototypes)
- “prototype” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
- “prototype” in The Bokmål Dictionary.
- “prototype” in The Nynorsk Dictionary.