[type] n, often attrib [ME, fr. LL typus, fr. L & Gk; L typus image, fr. Gk typos blow, impression, model, fr. typtein to strike, beat; akin to Skt tupati he injures and prob. to L stupere to be benumbed] (15c) 1 a: a person or thing (as in the Old Testament) believed to foreshadow another (as in the New Testament) b: one having qualities of a higher category: model c: a lower taxonomic category selected as a standard of reference for a higher category; also: a specimen or series of specimens on which a taxonomic species or subspecies is actually based
2: a distinctive mark or sign 3 a (1): a rectangular block usu. of metal bearing a relief character from which an inked print can be made (2): a collection of such blocks "a font of ~" (3): alphanumeric characters for printing "the ~ for this book has been photoset" b: typeface "italic ~" c: printed letters d: matter set in type
4. a: qualities common to a number of individuals that distinguish them as an identifiable class: as (1): the morphological, physiological, or ecological characters by which relationship between organisms may be recognized (2): the form common to all instances of a linguistic element b: a typical and often superior specimen c: a member of an indicated class or variety of people "the guests were mostly urban ~s --Lucy Cook" d: a particular kind, class, or group "oranges of the seedless ~" "leaders of the new ~ ... did England yeoman's service --G. M. Trevelyan" e: something distinguishable as a variety: sort "what ~ of food do you like?" syn type, kind, sort, nature, description, character mean a number of individuals thought of as a group because of a common quality or qualities. type may suggest strong and clearly marked similarity throughout the items included so that each is typical of the group "one of three basic body types". kind may suggest natural grouping "a zoo seemingly having animals of every kind". sort often suggests some disparagement "the sort of newspaper dealing in sensational stories". nature may imply inherent, essential resemblance rather than obvious or superficial likenesses "two problems of a similar nature". description implies a group marked by agreement in all details belonging to a type as described or defined "not all acts of that description are actually illegal". character implies a group marked by distinctive likenesses peculiar to the type "research on the subject so far has been of an elementary character".
type vb typed ; typ.ing vt (1596) 1: to represent beforehand as a type: prefigure
2. a: to produce a copy of b: to represent in terms of typical characteristics: typify
3: to produce (as a character or document) on a typewriter; also: keyboard
4: to identify as belonging to a type: as a: to determine the natural type of (as a blood sample) b: typecast ~ vi: to write something on a typewriter or enter data into a computer by way of a keyboard -- type.able adj