—n. 1. the original or model on which something is based or formed.
2. someone or something that serves to illustrate the typical qualities of a class; model; exemplar: She is the prototype of a student activist. 3. something analogous to another thing of a later period: a Renaissance prototype of our modern public housing. 4. Biol.an archetype; a primitive form regarded as the basis of a group.
—v.t. to create the prototype or an experimental model of: to prototype a solar-power car.