Definition of archetypal in US English:



  • 1Very typical of a certain kind of person or thing.

    ‘the archetypal country doctor’
    • ‘With her grey hair pulled into a Quaker-style bun and her lack of personal vanity she seems the archetypal wise woman, but photographs of her in her prime depict a beauty.’
    • ‘Palmer was an archetypal English visionary landscapist, and his paintings, drawings and etchings of moonlit wheatfields and flocks of sheep influenced later artists, among them Graham Sutherland and Lucian Freud.’
    • ‘Dotted with tiny fishing villages, it is the archetypal Caribbean paradise, with glistening white beaches that go on forever and emerald green waters where local fishermen haul in the most exotic array of fish.’
    • ‘My biographical dictionary describes Virginia Woolf as ‘the archetypal modernist‘.’
    • ‘Elm used to be the archetypal English wood until Dutch Elm disease took its toll in the 1970s.’
    • ‘There are stories based on historical fact, classic works of fiction which are so archetypal in their plots that they seem to defy reality.’
    • ‘Here was Dodgson's archetypal beggar child, as modelled by Alice Liddell, who was six years old.’
    • ‘He's the archetypal Edinburgh financier; modest, quietly-spoken but self - confident in the knowledge that he has over many years become one of the most respected pillars of the capital's success.’
    • ‘Bunyan's archetypal characters are dramatically illustrated through fifty masterful watercolor portraits by Barry Moser.’
    • ‘Newer ones, like the one in Watchet, are built of bricks and mortar but the archetypal model is the ubiquitous wooden structure.’
    • ‘When posing for photographs behind a standard issue university pine desk, he automatically assumes the archetypal newsreader pose - leant slightly forward with hands clasped in front of him.’
    • ‘An archetypal Southern California figure, Bob Keane's fascinating career in music extends over 60 years from the '30s to the present.’
    • ‘Morrison was the archetypal 1960s rock star whose tousled good looks and raucous stage show combined with his band's mix of electronic blues and psychedelic sounds to give them a string of international hits.’
    • ‘In the popular mind the Gunpowder Plot, with its dramatic aim of blowing up the Houses of Parliament, has become the archetypal anti-state conspiracy and its main executor the personification of treachery.’
    • ‘Although built some quarter of a century after Handel had ceased his operatic activities in London, Drottningholm theatre retains most of the archetypal features of the London opera houses where Handel premiered his masterpieces.’
    • ‘He called a spade a spade and in many ways was an archetypal Yorkshireman - blunt and straight to the point.’
    • ‘Long before case research was a popular method of academic effort, he spent time studying how the then archetypal multi-divisional corporation, General Motors of the US worked.’
    • ‘He wrote: ‘The great archetypal activities of human society are all permeated with play from the start.’’
    • ‘An awesome book - what Robinson is particularly good at is figuring out how Chaplin pieced together out of accident, inspiration and music hall stunt, what turned into complex, archetypal early film narrative.’
    • ‘Tango Siempre can do passion, drama, melancholy beauty and sentimentality, and their approach is more like that of a classical ensemble than an archetypal world-music outfit.’
    most typical, most characteristic, representative, standard, conventional, classic, model, exemplary, quintessential, prime, textbook, copybook
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    1. 1.1 Recurrent as a symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology.
      ‘an archetypal journey representing the quest for identity’
      • ‘The archetypal image in western literature is the journey of a man like Ulysses whose long trials and tribulations lead to arriving home older, braver, and wiser.’
      • ‘Rimzon points out that his motifs are basically archetypal forms.’
      • ‘The show revealed a tenacious veteran sculptor undaunted by the psychic challenge of an archetypal motif.’
      • ‘For Frye this meant that there were four archetypal plot modes, or mythoi, that characterized Western literature.’
      • ‘Brainard's child protagonist Yvonne makes the archetypal journey from innocence to experience during the course of the war comforted by Filipino legends and folklore recounted to her by her family cook.’
      • ‘Joseph Campbell, the well-known writer on mythology and comparative religion, identified twelve stages in the archetypal hero's journey.’
      • ‘The recurrent motifs are archetypal of the period.’
      • ‘My daughter tells me that she learned in 9th grade English that in an archetypal journey, the hero's mentor has to die or leave the picture in order for the hero to realize his potential.’
      • ‘To this end, Chatterjee's utilisation of Alice's mad tea party is most effective, although her analysis may have been enhanced by exploring more culturally specific archetypal symbolism.’
      • ‘Before Freud or Jung, Wagner's five-hour-long saga depicted an archetypal journey to self-knowledge.’
      • ‘He came to represent the archetypal Romantic artist, outlawed by a corrupt society, whose genius bore comparison with Shakespeare.’
      • ‘Can you now identify stories that fit or violate archetypal story patterns?’
      • ‘Typically the characters of a masque would be classical deities or abstract qualities such as a Virtue and Beauty, contrasted with rustic figures, and the story would represent an archetypal conflict proceeding to resolution.’
      • ‘For cultures with their roots in medieval Western Christendom, the word bible is both symbolic and archetypal.’
      • ‘And yet, the figure isn't a detached archetypal motif, but a projection of the artist's embodied self.’
      • ‘By emphasizing this resistance and the equivocal devices of Homer's archetypal wanderer, Walcott is delineating latent virtues in predecessors of his Creole protagonist.’
      • ‘Because revealing the archetypes present in Newbery books can allow students to examine literature on a deeper level, this essay seeks to highlight the archetypal patterns of Mother.’
      • ‘But he's more impressive as an archetypal, monumental, and motionless symbol than as a character in an ongoing series.’
      • ‘The two armies, the Pandavas and Kauravas, are archetypal symbols.’
    2. 1.2 Relating to or denoting an original that has been imitated.
      ‘the archetypal believer, Abraham’
      • ‘It actually looks like the archetypal Alpine Chalet, which adds to the charm of the experience.’
      • ‘Foxe believed that the archetypal Christian martyr was Saint Stephen, who offered a model of passive resistance to the Roman state.’
      • ‘In the latter example the Pygmalion myth is combined with that of the archetypal mother.’
      • ‘Most of these sacred marriage myths are ancient and archetypal, from millennia before the era of Ephesians.’
      • ‘And he is, after all, the archetypal spy; a spook's spook and a master of dirty tricks and dirty wars.’
      • ‘And his personal wisdom is an imitation of the archetypal Divine Wisdom.’
      • ‘His narrative is built on an archetypal triangulated relationship between master, slave, and dog.’
      • ‘Of special interest to us here is the myth that the creativity deity Obatala molded the archetypal human image (ere eniyan) from divine clay.’
      • ‘In many ways, it's the archetypal romantic-comedy, the original and best.’
      • ‘They are not re-makes or covers exactly, more like new originals, archetypal versions sung with an unknowingness that defies ownership.’
      • ‘Luther was for them the archetypal Christian believer.’
      • ‘European myths settle on archetypal characters and events, stories rich in metaphor and allusion that weave deep meaning from past epics into the activities of everyday life.’
      • ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is in fact the archetypal hero myth, retold as a rock opera in modern day Los Angeles.’
      • ‘Viewed by the satirists Persius and Juvenal as the archetypal master of the genre, Lucilius had put a stamp on verse satire which it has retained until the 20th century.’
      • ‘Stephen Crites calls these archetypal myths sacred stories.’
    3. 1.3 Relating to or denoting Jungian archetypes.
      • ‘Cross takes a more Jungian view of Birtwistle's theatre and the mythological themes that underpin so much of his work, seeing the figure of Punch, for example, in terms of Jung's archetypal shadow.’
      • ‘This traumatic history leads to bouts of depression and insanity, and it takes the intervention of psychotherapy and Jungian archetypal analysis to bring to her consciousness the roots of her suffering.’
      • ‘Oh, also, I want to write a fun little article about the heavy presence of Jung's archetypal figure, the anima, in video games.’
      • ‘He has published many articles in the areas of archetypal and Jungian psychology, mythology and the arts.’
      • ‘Aplvor's personal interest in Ubu Roi was essentially Jungian in its perspective, focusing upon the mythical and archetypal significance of its lead character, Père Ubu.’