Definition of type in English:



  • 1A category of people or things having common characteristics.

    ‘this type of heather grows better in a drier habitat’
    ‘blood types’
    • ‘A common type of invisible bra consists of two cups made of thick silicone sheets with an adhesive inner layer.’
    • ‘First we'll run down the basic differences between the more common types of beer.’
    • ‘Now a test for detecting cancer very early by picking out cells sensitised against tumour and antigens common to all types of cancer, has been developed.’
    • ‘The N-Profiles are the most common types and the easiest to treat.’
    • ‘The commonest type of trichome is uniseriate, two to four-celled, with a clavate or subclavate terminal cell.’
    • ‘The most common types of sports injuries are sprains and strains.’
    • ‘Nutritionists and fitness gurus have created an entire lexicon based on fruits to describe common body types.’
    • ‘Rates for at least six common types of cancer, country by country, correlate with the consumption of animal source food.’
    • ‘I think the common explanation for these types of addictions is that they are an ‘escape’ from a miserable life.’
    • ‘Counterfeiting is one of the most common types of card fraud.’
    • ‘There are also other, less common types of seizure.’
    • ‘The three most common types of conjunctivitis are: viral, allergic and bacterial.’
    • ‘The following are some of the most common types of media and their characteristics.’
    • ‘The most common types are the blacksmith plover, kittlitz's plover and spur-winged plover.’
    • ‘The tips are the same type of common sense platitudinous advice that columnists dispense on a regular basis.’
    • ‘Classed as a primitive breed, they bear little resemblance to more common types of sheep with thick white fleeces.’
    • ‘With the information you have given me, I can only give you the common types of rashes in her age group.’
    • ‘To point the way, they suggest four designs geared to the most common types of laneway lots.’
    • ‘Three types of sharks are common in the area: the sand tiger shark, bull shark and scalloped hammerhead.’
    • ‘This type of cancer is common in men but there is an increasing incidence of women sufferers in Ireland.’
    kind, sort, variety, class, category, classification, group, set, bracket, genre, genus, species, family, order, breed, race, strain
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    1. 1.1informal [with adjective or noun modifier]A person of a specified character or nature.
      ‘two sporty types in tracksuits’
      • ‘So whether it's teens watching Buffy or executives watching their budgets, the distracted mobile user seems to be a common type.’
      • ‘You are very tentative in the world and introverted with people - which means you are the shy and silent type.’
      • ‘Model types sip at their sea breezes and dance the night away.’
      • ‘The clubs here are peopled with artists and literary types rather than toffs and wideboys.’
      • ‘But Spock is the reason I go for the strong silent unemotional type.’
      • ‘With a warm and friendly atmosphere, it draws an eclectic crowd of artists and business types.’
      • ‘These artist types are always trying to deconstruct analysis.’
      • ‘This is just as true among linguists, alas, as it is among literary types.’
      • ‘A strong silent type would fit the bill as this character is on stage throughout the first half but doesn't say a word.’
      • ‘More than half of all taxpayers pay someone to do their taxes, so it's not surprising that criminal types are seeking a piece of the action.’
      • ‘First, I have great respect for the lexicographic types who do these searches.’
      • ‘New York has become so expensive that fun, crazy artist and musician types can no longer afford to live or move here.’
      • ‘I was very withdrawn and I think he spotted that I was the artist type - and he was right.’
      • ‘At the vet clinic they pretty much pull out the Kevlar but we civilian types can't go full metal jacket.’
      • ‘But the truly startling thing is that these ideas are apparently common currency among special-ops types today.’
      • ‘And it is instructive that the people who think this is a good idea are artists and artistic types.’
      • ‘Yes, luckily for all you proper sporty types, tracksuits are quite the outfit to be seen in this season.’
      • ‘All three of those cities are in dire need of more skateboard artist types to invade their shores.’
      • ‘However, it has not become ugly or vulgar due to the nature of the tourists, who are sporty, outdoor types.’
      • ‘For years he was the epitome of the strong, silent type, a defensive cyborg who could count on one hand the mistakes he made in his entire career.’
      • ‘Today, the island is a haven for artists and New Age types.’
      • ‘The crowd is a cool mix of models, media types and funky cool Londoners.’
      • ‘We like our heroes humble in Ireland, strong, silent types who keep the head down and go about their business in an uncomplicated manner.’
      person, individual, character, sort
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    2. 1.2informal The sort of person one likes or finds attractive.
      ‘she's not really my type’
      • ‘"So she doesn't think I’m her type, huh?" Luke grunted as he hoisted his body up once more.’
      • ‘Ellie was attractive though not my type but I have to admit there was some sort of attraction.’
      • ‘Are you keen on a guy but think that you're not his type?’
  • 2A person or thing exemplifying the ideal or defining characteristics of something.

    ‘she characterized his witty sayings as the type of modern wisdom’
    • ‘The style of winemaking is very much in the big and bold French Bordeaux type.’
    epitome, quintessence, essence, perfect example, archetype, model, pattern, paradigm, exemplar, embodiment, personification, avatar
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    1. 2.1An object, conception, or work of art serving as a model for subsequent artists.
      • ‘His use of sfumato and his figure types seem closer to the art of Lorenzo Lotto.’
      • ‘From these outsiders a collection of work emerged that produced the spectrum of recognisably Art Brut types.’
    2. 2.2A symbol of someone or something.
      ‘the dolphin is a conventional type of Christ’
    3. 2.3Theology A person or event in the Old Testament taken as a foreshadowing of someone or something in the New Testament.
    4. 2.4Botany Zoology An organism or taxon chosen as having the essential characteristics of its group.
      • ‘Thus, the origin of the mesoderm is clearly of the deuterostome type in phoronids and brachiopods.’
    5. 2.5
      short for type specimen
  • 3[mass noun] Characters or letters that are printed or shown on a screen.

    ‘bold type’
    • ‘She quickly opened the folder and flicked through some of the pages, her eyes skimming over the bold type.’
    • ‘The final paragraph of the letter, printed in bold type, made it very clear what would happen if they didn't accept.’
    • ‘Each religion is announced in bold type followed by a paragraph or two of elementary explanation.’
    • ‘Headings in bold type naturally lead the eye to the photo captions contained within the body of the text.’
    • ‘It's not often that an author is prompted to make a statement in bold type to correct what he sees as a gross misunderstanding.’
    • ‘Also important is the relationship between room size and video display screen size and type.’
    • ‘She turned her attention to a stack of home health orders, with type so small she could hardly read it.’
    • ‘It consists of the title and not more than three sentences presented in bold type which is larger than some of the section titles.’
    • ‘Those positions located in the catalytic core of the ribozyme are shown in italicized boldface type.’
    • ‘Certain characteristics distinguish one type of print from another.’
    • ‘Lesson One in printing on cheap newsprint is surely never to print black type over a highly coloured background.’
    • ‘He has adopted the usual practice on page 57 of using bold type, separating out the order that he is making.’
    • ‘Later, the sign was replaced by a new one, just as lavish, on which the message was printed in larger type.’
    • ‘Such themes are all clearly presented in the body of the commentary and helpfully emphasised in bold type.’
    • ‘I have used bold type to indicate any item or portion thereof that has been revised.’
    • ‘It suggests that exact quantities should be printed clearly in larger type on the front of packages and should be easily understood.’
    • ‘This message appeared in bold type across the front of a postcard sent by my sister in 1989, when my husband and I bought our first home.’
    • ‘Predictions of exceptionally high tides are given in bold type.’
    • ‘Parameters to which the model is sensitive are in bold type.’
    • ‘Loci of noncoding markers that have possible codominant alleles are in boldface italic type.’
    • ‘As if to emphasise the point, the report prints the comment in bold type.’
    print, typeface, face, characters, lettering, letters
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    1. 3.1[count noun]A piece of metal with a raised letter or character on its upper surface, for use in letterpress printing.
      • ‘Each is characterized by diagnostic pottery and metal types.’
      • ‘Suddenly, it was no longer necessary to stock separate arrays of lead type for each point size.’
    2. 3.2Metal types used in letterpress printing.
      ‘the first European printing of books began in 1454 with the invention of movable type’
      • ‘As with the Bixler pieces, printer's type was used to impress an inscription around the rim.’
      • ‘The inscriptions were created by pressing printer's type into the clay before it hardened.’
  • 4A design on either side of a medal or coin.

  • 5Linguistics
    An abstract category or class of linguistic item or unit, as distinct from actual occurrences in speech or writing.

    Contrasted with token
    • ‘The concepts [dog], [cat], [horse], as well as [animal], occupy the abstract domain of types.’
    • ‘When discussing linguistic items like letters and sentences, contemporary philosophers distinguish types from tokens.’
    • ‘These were carried out for the annotation of anaphor types and their antecedents, and for the segmentation of the dialogues into dialogue acts.’
    • ‘All of these elements vary in their structural details, and perched songs can easily be categorized as distinct types.’
    • ‘There we list the five basic clause types, and give an example of each.’
    • ‘Older style guides make two firm points about the difference between the two types of clause.’
    • ‘The C declarations may define types and variables used in the actions.’
    • ‘A domain already exists on the system that matches either or both the type or the name that has been specified.’


  • 1Write (something) on a typewriter or computer by pressing the keys.

    ‘he typed out the second draft’
    [no object] ‘I'm learning to type’
    • ‘Her idea of a fun Friday night was sitting in front of the computer by herself typing up a new poem.’
    • ‘Alison glanced at the editor - he was already busy typing on the computer.’
    • ‘But for those with limited use of their hands, taking notes at a meeting and typing on a computer keyboard can be difficult or impossible.’
    • ‘Try to imagine the average student sliding out from under the duvet, seamlessly moving across to their desk, and then writing or typing non-stop for 30 minutes.’
    • ‘Instead, the group of A / V crew members were still seated at their portable computers, all typing and talking loudly.’
    • ‘I continued researching and typing while occasionally taking notes on my notebook placed to the side.’
    • ‘For some reason, because we are merely sitting at a computer screen in our own den just typing, we aren't doing anything ‘wrong’ or criminal.’
    • ‘Your daughter says she recalls going to bed as a child hearing you typing in your office, and waking up hearing the same noise.’
    • ‘Tony found himself typing with the light of the computer onto the keyboard.’
    • ‘One good Saturday night, I was there, alone again in my room and typing along in front of my computer.’
    • ‘I did go onto his computer and finished typing then posted what happened on Monday.’
    • ‘Like last time, someone using the wireless keyboard discovered that everything they were typing was showing up on a neighbor's computer.’
    • ‘She answered; twirling around in her computer chair and typing in a few things I didn't care much about.’
    • ‘He hunched over his computer screen and kept typing in commands.’
    • ‘My secretary was busy typing on her typewriter, so I started the coffee-making process myself, intending not to disturb her.’
    • ‘Then he spent ten minutes standing behind the counter typing away on his computer like a courtroom stenographer on methamphetamines.’
    • ‘Eric was busy typing at his computer, then leaned back in his chair.’
    • ‘The secretary immediately stopped typing on the computer and greeted him.’
    • ‘There then followed an hour and ten minutes of typing, card swiping and crashing of various computers that culminated in him printing off an agreement form full of invalid bank details.’
    • ‘The cramped keyboard makes accurate typing difficult.’
    • ‘But then Mr Steyn, like me, sits at a keyboard, typing stuff.’
    • ‘People sit in their cubicles on the phone or typing away at their computers amid the chaos.’
    • ‘James is busy typing up his General Science homework on his computer when he hears a faint knocking on the door downstairs.’
    • ‘Sal got quiet and the other two could hear him typing into his computer, followed by a little victorious laugh.’
    • ‘I also find that typing up notes in my computer can be helpful.’
    • ‘As they passed his office, she watched him typing away at a weekly newsletter they put out.’
    • ‘During the war on Iraq, military staff at all levels have found that typing short messages is a supremely efficient way of communicating in a crisis.’
    • ‘Tania let out a humph and a snort, but resumed typing on the computer.’
  • 2Medicine
    Determine the type to which (a person or their blood or tissue) belongs.

    ‘the kidney was typed’
    • ‘This method typically requires electromorph typing of a large number of loci from hundreds of individuals.’
    • ‘All isolates were subjected to molecular typing by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.’


  • in type

    • Composed and ready for printing.

      • ‘At this point in history, it was the often uneducated printer who would decide which words were set in type and which were not, since he could be prosecuted by the authorities.’
      • ‘He unfortunately died in February 1897 and it soon transpired that the manuscript was not in the hands of the Club and so nothing could be set in type.’
      • ‘No printer would risk his skin by setting the words in type.’


Late 15th century (in the sense ‘symbol, emblem’): from French, or from Latin typus, from Greek tupos impression, figure, type, from tuptein to strike. The use in printing dates from the early 18th century; the general sense ‘category with common characteristics’ arose in the mid 19th century.