1. a number of things or persons sharing a particular characteristic, or set of characteristics, that causes them to be regarded as a group, more or less precisely defined or designated; class; category: a criminal of the most vicious type.
  2. a thing or person regarded as a member of a class or category; kind; sort (usually followed by of): This is some type of mushroom.
  3. Informal. a person, regarded as reflecting or typifying a certain line of work, environment, etc.: a couple of civil service types.
  4. a thing or person that represents perfectly or in the best way a class or category; model: the very type of a headmaster.
  5. Printing.
    1. a rectangular piece or block, now usually of metal, having on its upper surface a letter or character in relief.
    2. such pieces or blocks collectively.
    3. a similar piece in a typewriter or the like.
    4. such pieces collectively.
    5. a printed character or printed characters: a headline in large type.
    6. face(defs 19b, c).
  6. Biology.
    1. a genus or species that most nearly exemplifies the essential characteristics of a higher group.
    2. the one or more specimens on which the description and naming of a species is based.
  7. Agriculture.
    1. the inherited features of an animal or breed that are favorable for any given purpose: dairy type.
    2. a strain, breed, or variety of animal, or a single animal, belonging to a specific kind.
  8. Logic, Linguistics. Also called type-word. the general form of a word, expression, symbol, or the like in contrast to its particular instances: The type “and” in “red and white and blue” has two separate tokens.Compare token(def 8).
  9. the pattern or model from which something is made.
  10. an image or figure produced by impressing or stamping, as the principal figure or device on either side of a coin or medal.
  11. a distinctive or characteristic mark or sign.
  12. a symbol of something in the future, as an Old Testament event serving as a prefiguration of a New Testament event.
  13. Medicine/Medical. blood group.

verb (used with object), typed, typ·ing.

  1. to write on a typewriter; typewrite or keyboard.
  2. to reproduce in type or in print.
  3. Medicine/Medical. to ascertain the type of (a blood or tissue sample).
  4. to typecast.
  5. to be a type or symbol of; typify; symbolize; represent.
  6. to represent prophetically; foreshadow; prefigure.

verb (used without object), typed, typ·ing.

  1. to typewrite.


  1. a kind, class, or category, the constituents of which share similar characteristics
  2. a subdivision of a particular class of things or people; sortwhat type of shampoo do you use?
  3. the general form, plan, or design distinguishing a particular group
  4. informal a person who typifies a particular qualityhe’s the administrative type
  5. informal a person, esp of a specified kindhe’s a strange type
    1. a small block of metal or more rarely wood bearing a letter or character in relief for use in printing
    2. such pieces collectively
  6. characters printed from type; print
  7. biology
    1. the taxonomic group the characteristics of which are used for defining the next highest group, for example Rattus norvegicus (brown rat) is the type species of the rat genus Rattus
    2. (as modifier)a type genus; a type species
  8. See type specimen
  9. the characteristic device on a coin
  10. linguistics a symbol regarded as standing for the class of all symbols identical to itCompare token (def. 8)
  11. logic a class of expressions or of the entities they represent that can all enter into the same syntactic relations. The theory of types was advanced by Bertrand Russell to avoid the liar paradox, Russell’s paradox, etc
  12. philosophy a universal. If a sentence always has the same meaning whenever it is used, the meaning is said to be a property of the sentence-typeCompare token (def. 9)
  13. mainly Christian theol a figure, episode, or symbolic factor resembling some future reality in such a way as to foreshadow or prefigure it
  14. rare a distinctive sign or mark


  1. to write (copy) on a typewriter
  2. (tr) to be a symbol of; typify
  3. (tr) to decide the type of; clarify into a type
  4. (tr) med to determine the blood group of (a blood sample)
  5. (tr) mainly Christian theol to foreshadow or serve as a symbol of (some future reality)

late 15c., “symbol, emblem,” from Latin typus “figure, image, form, kind,” from Greek typos “dent, impression, mark, figure, original form,” from root of typtein “to strike, beat,” from PIE root *(s)teu- “to strike, cut, hew” (see steep (adj.)). Extended 1713 to printing blocks with letters carved on them. The meaning “general form or character of some kind, class” is first in English 1843, though it had that sense in Latin and Greek. To be someone’s type “be the sort of person that person is attracted to” is recorded from 1934.


“to write with a typewriter,” 1888; see type (n.). Related: Typed; typing.


  1. A number of people or things having in common traits or characteristics that distinguish them as a group or class.
  2. The general character or structure held in common by a number of people or things considered as a group or class.
  3. A person or thing having the features of a group or class.
  4. An example or a model having the ideal features of a group or class.
  5. A taxonomic group, especially a genus or species, chosen as the representative example in characterizing the larger taxonomic group to which it belongs.
  6. The specimen on which the original description and naming of a taxon is based.


  1. To determine the antigenic characteristics of a blood or tissue sample.

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