- Ideal – something that conforms to a standard or is, in some way, perfect.
- Model – an example of something that is used to imitate or create.
- Standard – something that is established as a good example of a concept and used to measure other examples of that concept against it.
- Pattern – a set of traits or other features and characteristics that can be attributed to a specific kind of person or group of people.
- Paradigm – an example, especially a very good one.
- Prototype – the original of something, which will be copied or patterned by other things within the same category.
Word Origin: Comes from the Greek “protos,” meaning “first,” and “typos,” meaning “impression.” A prototype is the first version of something that is created in order to test a design or concept.
Meaning: An original model or type after which other things are copied or patterned. Archetypes are often found in stories, myths, and religions, and the word comes from the Greek words “arkhein” meaning “to begin” and “typos” meaning “pattern.”
Context: The word “archetype” is often used in psychology to refer to a universal symbol or character that exists in the collective unconscious. Carl Jung was one of the first psychologists to use the term. He believed that archetypes were inherited memories that were passed down from generation to generation.
“Archetype” has several different meanings. For example, it can refer to the first model of something, after which every other version of that specific thing is made.
The psychological and spiritual version of the word, however, branches off of this concept somewhat. Although it still refers to the behavioral form or personality type, it also refers to human beings who fit into that type.
This comes from the idea of the collective unconscious, which was popularized by Carl Jung. Through this concept, Jung stated that individuals receive a certain way of thinking from the collective unconscious. No one individual is the first individual to ever receive an archetype, but all archetypes are considered the source of all identities and personalities.
This concept is a complicated one, and it can take some time to dive into the world of archetypes and form a better understanding. However, in order to understand the meaning of this word, you can begin by looking at some of its synonyms.
In this article, you’ll find a list of synonyms that can help you define “archetype” for yourself and make it easier for you to wrap your head around what this concept really means.
Learn all about archetype synonym words below.
A synonym is a word that has the same meaning as another word, or one that has a meaning that is very close. When you’re trying to define a word that can be difficult to comprehend, it’s always a good idea to look at other words around it for some guidance.
In this section, you’ll find a handful of words that can be related to the meaning of “archetype.” Keep in mind, however, that these words don’t necessarily relate to the psychological or spiritual meaning of the word, and that it will take some additional research and thinking to determine which do and which don’t.
Option #1. Ideal
Meaning: something that conforms to a standard or is, in some way, perfect.
Usage: Many people use this word to refer to the kind of person they want to be. It may come across as a lofty goal that can’t actually be reached. It is often used to relate to appearance or behavior as well as achievements in life. However, when it comes to archetypes, it’s easy to consider what the ideal might be for the type of person you yourself are, especially when you think about how you fit into your archetypes.
Option #2. Model
Meaning: an example of something that is used to imitate or create.
Usage: The word “model” has a lot of meanings. In this case, however, it’s a noun that refers to the original form of something, or the basic idea from which new ideas come. When you consider this version of a model in relation to archetypal concepts, it’s easy to see how the two are synonymous. An archetype, too, is the original form of something—a human, or a pattern of behavior or thinking—and a human is also an original. Therefore, both can be considered models of archetypes.
Option #3. Standard
Meaning: something that is established as a good example of a concept and used to measure other examples of that concept against it.
Usage: A “standard” is a common concept in many different areas of thought. It is often used to refer to products such as vehicles that “meet or exceed standards” related to their quality and construction. However, in archetypes, a standard is the first example of any given archetype. It can be used to measure other examples of that archetype against it and determine whether or not they match up. In fact, a standard and an example are very similar ideas.
Option #4. Pattern
Meaning: a set of traits or other features and characteristics that can be attributed to a specific kind of person or group of people.
Usage: Often, the word “pattern” is used to describe what an archetype is. In reality, they are more or less the same thing. In this sense, “pattern” refers to the way an individual does something, whether that may be performing an act, speaking, thinking, or even just existing. Archetypes focus on these patterns and help to define them between individuals, connecting them across large groups. All archetypal patterns can be traced back to traditional archetypes of the collective unconscious.
Option #5. Paradigm
Meaning: an example, especially a very good one.
Usage: This word is often used to refer to a very good example of a specific archetype. If a literary character exemplifies all the traits of a specific archetype, then they can be referred to as a paradigm of that archetype. The same is true of real humans, although the term may be less common when referring to spiritual or psychological archetypes than it is for literary ones. This word is also used outside of the archetypal world to refer to a shining example of juts about anything, although it’s not a very common word.
Option #6. Prototype
Meaning: the original of something, which will be copied or patterned by other things within the same category.
Usage: A prototype, in general, is the first version of something that is then copied and improved upon throughout more and more phases of its existence. However, when it comes to archetypal thinking, the two words mean more or less the same thing. An archetype is the original model of a personality, and a prototype is the same. These are interchangeable words, although “archetype” is arguably much more common in context than “prototype” is, and “prototype” is more often used for inanimate objects.
Do you feel a little more well-versed in the concept of archetypes? Now that you understand the meaning of the word, you can go even deeper into your understanding of how it relates to you and the world around you. Archetypes can be confusing, but when you understand what the word itself means, you’re giving yourself a good opportunity to discover even more.
What are some antonyms to keep in mind as you delve deeper into exploring archetypes and their meanings? Here are a few to remember:
- Copy: an imitation of an original.
- Imitation: something that is repeated in a new way that is related to an original.
- Fake: something that is not real.
- Reproduction: making something new that is an imitation but not the same as the original.
- Replica: a copy that is basically the same as the original, but is lacking something in some way.
As you can see, these antonyms are not the same as an archetype, because an archetype is the original form of a person’s behavior or personality patterns. A person isn’t a copy, but is an original that fits into the concept of larger originals.
By focusing on the synonyms and antonyms of this word, you can make it easier for yourself to understand what the word means and how to use it in your daily life—whether spiritually, psychologically, from a literary standpoint, or in another way altogether.