Definition of archetypal in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌärkəˈtīp(ə)l/


1Very typical of a certain kind of person or thing: the archetypal country doctor
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Newer ones, like the one in Watchet, are built of bricks and mortar but the archetypal model is the ubiquitous wooden structure.
  • 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.
quintessential, classic, most typical, representative, model, exemplary, consummate, textbook;
1.1Recurrent as a symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology: an archetypal journey representing the quest for identity
More example sentences
  • The recurrent motifs are archetypal of the period.
  • Joseph Campbell, the well-known writer on mythology and comparative religion, identified twelve stages in the archetypal hero's journey.
  • 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.
1.2Relating to or denoting an original that has been imitated: the archetypal believer, Abraham
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Luther was for them the archetypal Christian believer.
  • Stephen Crites calls these archetypal myths sacred stories.
1.3Relating to or denoting Jungian archetypes.
Example sentences
  • He has published many articles in the areas of archetypal and Jungian psychology, mythology and the arts.
  • 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.

Words that rhyme with archetypal

disciple, typal

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ar·che·typ·al

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.