(redirected from archetypically)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Related to archetypically: Archetypical problems


archetype (ärˈkĭtīpˌ) [Gr. arch=first, typos=mold], term whose earlier meaning, “original model,” or “prototype,” has been enlarged by C. G. Jung and by several contemporary literary critics. A Jungian archetype is a thought pattern that finds worldwide parallels, either in cultures (for example, the similarity of the ritual of Holy Communion in Europe with the tecqualo in ancient Mexico) or in individuals (a child's concept of a parent as both heroic and tyrannic, superman and ogre). Jung believed that such archetypal images and ideas reside in the unconscious level of the mind of every human being and are inherited from the ancestors of the race. They form the substance of the collective unconscious. Literary critics such as Northrop Frye and Maud Bodkin use the term archetype interchangeably with the term motif, emphasizing that the role of these elements in great works of literature is to unite readers with otherwise dispersed cultures and eras.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



concept of the original type, the prototype of the skeletal structure of all vertebrates, advanced by R. Owen (1847). The archetype theory is based on the comparison of traits common to the skeletons of various vertebrates, and it has created an abstract model, an ideal type of skeleton, which has not been completely realized by any animal, either extinct or living. This theory served as an expression of the natural philosophical school of morphology during the 18th and 19th centuries, when a reflection of general ideas was sought for in the structure of human beings and animals. Basic to the archetype is the ideal vertebrate system, consisting of eight parts (the body, the neural and hemal arches, the awned and transverse appendages, and the ribs). The entire skeleton is depicted as some kind of series of such modified vertebrae. In the skull Owen distinguished four vertebrae: the occipital, parietal, frontal, and nasal. C. Darwin reinterpreted the archetype theory; he conceived of it not as an abstract prototype but as an ancestral form which had actually existed at one time.


Owen, R. Report on the Archetype and Homologies of the Vertebrate Skeleton: Report of the 16th Meeting . . . of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. . ., 1846. London, 1847.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A hypothetical ancestral type conceptualized by eliminating all specialized character traits.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. Psychoanal one of the inherited mental images postulated by Jung as the content of the collective unconscious
2. a constantly recurring symbol or motif in literature, painting, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Portability is the most archetypically Gibsonian of the four mobile affordances because it is often evaluated through visual observation.
Volvo Trucks might be an archetypically Swedish brand, but the firm claims its vehicles are as comfortable operating in the desert as they are amongst their native fjords.
Rollo's ambition comes to a head after his Siggy, the former earl's widow, attempts to convince him that Ragnar's fame will soon overshadow his own, in a classically executed instance of "whetting" so ubiquitous to the archetypically ambitious wife in the Icelanders' Sagas.
"The difference has been fairly archetypically night and day.
(Significantly, these stage directions are not included in Britt's translation, perhaps because they were understood as being specific to the Druid Theatre production.) Another key element of the creation of an archetypically Irish scenario is the characters' use of a "distinctively constructed Hiberno-English dialect" (Pilny 228), to which I will return in my discussion of the Licorne production.
Life insurance is held up by people outside of the industry as an archetypically dull career, but that so critically misses what this line of work is all about.
Overall, the case study building is archetypically representative of much of the existing mid- to high-rise multi-unit residential housing stock constructed from the 1970's through 1990's across North America.
As Wenner notes, the hero is somebody who, archetypically, is born when "they are thrust into situations for which there can be little preparation" (p.
The protagonists are both archetypically mythic and achingly human.
at 827 ("Underlying the language and rationale of Lawrence is the notion that without sex a relationship between adults cannot reach the pinnacle of intimacy represented archetypically in the marital bond.").
The result is a psychoanalysis that is recognizably Romantic rather than archetypically modernist: ffytche makes a powerful case for a Freud rooted in the Naturphilosophie of Schelling and the poets and anthropologists who constituted his context.
In the concepts of a new moral order, vegetarianism is analyzed as a challenge to male power, archetypically symbolized by physical strength, hunting, warmongering and consumption of foods that stimulate virility, such as meat.