If two objects (or "types") have the relationship where one is the prototype of the other, then the other is the __ of the prototype.

In this sentence, from the context of the prototype:

This will not be true for versions that are based on this version.

I want to replace the words "versions that are based on this version" with one word. For example, in the context of one of those future versions, I could say "This was not true for prototypes."

Examples of the kind of prototypal relationship I am looking for:

Chair is to Stool
Protoplast is to Chloroplast

Examples of the kind of word relationship I am looking for:

Archetype is to Ectype
Supertype is to Subtype

Prototype is to _

  • Maybe I'm missing something, but the examples you're provided all seem to be superset/subset pairs, whereas the word you're requesting would not be either a superset of subset of "prototype." If you do want your requested word to be a superset or subset, could you clarify which one?
    – user867
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 4:16

5 Answers 5


Depending on context, you could call a non-prototype a production model, although it seems that this term refers primarily to vehicles. You might also replace model with unit or version. This Google ngram seems to indicate that production unit is the most popular of those three options.

If you are dealing with software, you could call it shipping a 1.0 product or merely a 1.0. Release version is another candidate. And if there are multiple prototypes, they are sometimes referred to as pre-alphas, alphas or betas in the programming community. A prototype that is almost ready for distribution is often called a release candidate.

Added: see this related question dealing with the opposite of a proof of concept.

  • Thank you. All good thoughts. I think the relationship I'm trying to describe is more akin to "Animal is to Mammal" as "Prototype is to _____". Maybe the problem is the word prototype? Still seems strange if there isn't a counterpart that fits this description.
    – colllin
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 18:09
  • This is interesting because in the context of software engineering, I would consider the finished product to be more of an archetype than an intermediate type that has both a prototype and an archetype. In other words, a software product is never truly a finished product. It is just a product, which has both predecessors and successors, at least conceptually. And "production unit" describes a particular "type" or "model" that is suitable for productization, rather than the relationship between that type and the prototype.
    – colllin
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 18:40
  • Meaning it doesn't leave room for intermediate or successive types, which also have a relationship with a prototype (or several prototypes).
    – colllin
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 18:44
  • 2
    @colllin Yes, I suppose 1.0.1 is always lurking around the corner. Regarding your first comment, are you looking for a hypernym of prototype? (I ask because animal is a hypernym of mammal.) Put another way, do you want a hierarchy of elements beginning with prototype, or would you prefer a chronology?
    – user22138
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 18:44
  • Thanks for turning me onto the concept of hypernyms and hyponyms. I don't think that's exactly what I'm looking for. It's true that animal is a hypernym of mammal, but I think I'm looking for this: An animal is a prototype of a mammal. A mammal is a _____ of an animal.
    – colllin
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 20:20

While I like longstreth's production unit, you also might consider finished product

the product that emerges at the end of a manufacturing process


I think part of the problem is the term prototype. This is often used in the sense of

a first, typical or preliminary model of something, especially a machine, from which other forms are developed or copied

While it can also be understood as archetype it often conveys preliminary.

You may want to consider the term derivative

something that is based on another source: a derivative of the system was chosen for the Marine Corps' V-22 tilt rotor aircraft

It can be used as a noun on its own or as an adjective with version, model or other noun. It is the term used in copyright law (which covers a good deal of programming) in the phrase derivative work which refers to a creative effort that is based in substantial part on a prior work.

In a more figurative vein, you could use the term daughter.

•(literary) a thing personified as a daughter in relation to its origin or source: Italian, the eldest daughter of ancient Latin

•(Physics) a nuclide formed by the radioactive decay of another.

Continuing the familial theme, patent applications are often referred to as parent and daughter applications, the latter following, being based on, and often refining the concepts contained in the former. The junior patents are also called child patents.

  • What if it's not the finished product? Just a derivation, evolution, iteration, extension, (less primitive / more advanced / more defined) version, adaptation, or revision?
    – colllin
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 18:31

Derivative can be used as a noun or as and adjective (as in "derivative design"). Another noun is derivation.

A derivative is something derived.

Derive is to take, receive, or obtain, especially from a specified source; to have or take origin.

Derivation is something derived; or an act or process of deriving.

To modify your original statement

This will not be true for versions that are based on this version.

you might say

This will not be true for derivatives (of this version).


This will not be true for derivative versions (of this design).

where the parenthetical can be left implicit if you like.

While it might sufficiently explained, let me provide some examples of it's direct and related uses:

Derivative Design - new designs that are based upon existing designs, using design elements, concepts, or principles taken from those existing designs.

Derivative Product:

New product that results from modifying an existing product, and which has different properties than those of the product it is derived from.

Also, under U.S. copyright law:

A derivative work is a new, original product that includes aspects of a preexisting, already copyrighted work.

As with many words, "derivative" has other meanings besides this one, but this should not be a limitation when used in the right context.


How about "successor", or simply "future versions"? The "that are based on this version" seems redundant; the object in question wouldn't be a "future version" of the prototype if it weren't based on the prototype.

  • True, but in the context of multiple product lines, for example, future versions by itself is a bit vague. Or in the context of the fact that you're reading it in a document, it could refer to versions of that document.
    – colllin
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 17:48
  • Maybe it was misleading to use the word future. In my particular use case, the time component is not really applicable. It's actually possible that the prototype is extracted from the derived version at a later time, and then other derivations of that prototype could occur. I'll try to find a better word and revise my question. Thank you for helping me.
    – colllin
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 17:53
  • 1
    Hmm... as far as I know there's no word that neatly fits as the counterpart of a prototype. You could clear things up by saying "future versions of ____", using "of" instead of "that are based on". Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 17:56

'Beta version' could be a good term.

  • 2
    That's not the same kind of prototype this question is referring to. Read some of the examples.
    – p.s.w.g
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 19:37

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