Meaning of TYPE in English

I. ˈtīp noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Late Latin typus, from Latin & Greek; Latin typus image, from Greek typos blow, impression, image, model, type, from typtein to strike, beat; akin to Latin stuprum defilement, dishonor, Sanskrit tupati, tumpati he hurts


a. : something that serves as a symbolic representation usually of a thing yet to come into being : prefiguration , token

concludes that the whole of the Old Testament is one great prophecy, one great type of what was to come — A.J.Maas

a type of the one who was to come — Rom 5:14 (Revised Standard Version)

a Christian type differs from an allegory in that the historical reference is not lost sight of — Oxford Dict. of the Christian Church

b. : one (as an object, a person, or a kind of entity) that possesses or exemplifies qualities of a higher category : model , exemplar : as

(1) : a lower taxonomic category selected as a standard of reference for a higher category and usually chosen as the subgroup most perfectly exemplifying the higher category ; also : the specimen or series of specimens on which a taxonomic species or subspecies is actually based — see type specimen

(2) : a simple chemical compound used as a model or pattern to which other compounds are conveniently regarded as being related and from which they may be actually or theoretically derived


a. obsolete : a figurative representation : image

b. : a distinctive mark or sign

the banked foundations that are such a type of old-time rural winter life

c. : the central figure on either side of a coin, medal, or piece of paper money


(1) : a postage stamp design especially when differing from another only in small details

type one has thin, type two thick letters and numerals

or when appearing on stamps of more than one denomination or on stamps differing in other details (as paper, perforation, or watermark)

the 1 cent and 3 cent stamps were of the same type

(2) : the arrangement of a particular overprint or surcharge on a stamp


a. : a usually metal, wood, or plastic rectangular block having on its face a relief character of which an inked impression will produce a printed character

a piece of type

b. : a collection of such blocks

a case of type

a font of type

also : a composed assembly of such single blocks from which something is to be printed or of comparable units cast in the form of a solid slug

a type page

a galley of type

c. : characters forming the faces of typebars (as in a typewriter)

d. : characters functioning as type in photocomposition

e. : typeface

a very condensed type

f. : a printed impression from type : printed matter

very small type can be hard to read


a. : qualities common to a number of individuals that serve to distinguish them as an identifiable class or kind: as

(1) : a set of determinable and usually physically measurable qualities that on the average is held in common by the members of relatively homogeneous human group (as a family, a tribe, or a race)

(2) : the combination of characters that fits an individual or kind of individual to a particular use or function

meat type poultry

a strong horse of draft type

(3) : the morphological, physiological, or ecological characters by which relationship between organisms may be recognized

(4) : qualities (as of bodily contour and carriage) that are felt to indicate excellence in members of a group

won the show with a beagle of superior type

(5) : a form of structure or symmetry common to a group of crystals

(6) : the general form of a word as contrasted with its particular instances in speech or writing — called also type-word ; contrasted with token

if a man twice says “it's raining,” he utters two tokens of one type — D.C.Williams

b. : an individual exhibiting distinguishable qualities of its kind : a typical and often superior specimen

a dog that is a type beagle

c. : a group or category exhibiting such type : a particular kind, class, or group

infections of the most deadly type

oranges of a seedless type

a physique of the pyknic type


(1) : a large taxonomic category characterized by basic rather than detailed similarities among its members and being essentially equivalent to division or phylum of other taxonomic systems

(2) : any of various closely related minor categories usually distinguishable on physiologic or serological bases — compare blood group , physiologic race , serotype

(3) : a group of soils developed from like parent material and having similar horizons, texture, and profile arrangement

(4) : a class of objects or a style peculiar to a particular archaeological site or period

(5) : one of a hierarchy of mutually exclusive classifications of arguments in a logical calculus suggested as a means of resolving the logical paradoxes

individuals, classes of individuals, and classes of classes of individuals are entities of progressively higher types

a class cannot be of the same type as its members

— compare russell's paradox

d. : something felt to be distinguishable as a variety or kind : sort

a new type submarine

won't stand for that type of behavior


[origin unknown]

: a canopy sounding board for a pulpit


kind , sort , stripe , kidney , ilk , description , nature , character : type may suggest strong and clearly marked similarities throughout the items included, so that each is typical of the group

the landforms are related to these rock types — A.E.Trueman

that most dangerous type of critic: the critic with a mind which is naturally of the creative order — T.S.Eliot

kind in most uses is likely to be very indefinite and involve any criterion of classification whatever

each kind of mental or bodily activity — Herbert Spencer

their soil yields treasures of every kind — H.T.Buckle

the kind of fear here treated of is purely spiritual — Charles Lamb

It may suggest criteria of grouping dependent on natural, intrinsic characteristics

Sinic philosophers conceived yin and yang as two different kinds of matter … yin symbolized water and yang fire — A.J.Toynbee

sort is often a close synonym of kind

the sort of culture I am trying to define — J.C.Powys

and may be used in situations having a suggestion of disparagement

the sort of journals put out by the learned societies — New Republic

Victorianism of a meaner and baser sort — F.B.Millett

what sort of idiots have you got around here — A.W.Long

type , kind , and sort are usually interchangeable and are used most of the time without attention to special connotations. stripe and kidney are used mostly of people rather than things; the first may suggest political attitude or affiliation, the second persuasion, disposition, or social level

all Fascists are not of one mind, one stripe — Lillian Hellman

economic dogmatists of whatever stripe — Atlantic

the crown representative and comptroller were political appointees, and like many men of that kidney had never done a fair share of the work — S.E.Morison

ilk , orig. indicating clan or family, may suggest grouping on the basis of status, attitude, or temperament

no matter if … your ancestors spoke only to Cabots and their ilk — Stanley Walker

one great composer is worth twenty of your ilk — Bella & Samuel Spewack

description , nature , and character are close synonyms of type and kind mostly in phrases beginning with of. description may suggest a grouping in which all salient details of description or definition are involved; nature may suggest inherent, essential characteristics rather than superficial, ostensible, or tentative ones; and character may stress distinctive or individualizing criteria

all embargoes are not of this description. They are sometimes resorted to … with a single view to commerce — John Marshall

the few hitherto known phenomena of a similar nature — American Journal of Science

until the invention of printing advertising was necessarily of this primitive character — Charles Presbrey

Synonym: see in addition symbol .

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to represent beforehand as a type : prefigure

2. : to produce a copy of ; also : represent , typify


[by shortening]

: typewrite

4. : to subsume under, classify as a member of, or identify as belonging to a type: as

a. : to determine the natural type of (as a sample of blood or a culture of bacteria)

b. : typecast

c. : to cast (an actor) repeatedly in the same sort of role

type an actor as a butler or a gangster

intransitive verb

[by shortening]

: typewrite

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.