If you're talking about a typical example of something, call it the epitome. The cartoon character Garfield is the epitome of the lazy, food-obsessed cat.

Coming to us from Greek through Latin, epitome refers to something that is the ultimate representative of its class. Are you the epitome of the hard-working student or do you believe in study in moderation? Make sure you pronounce epitome with the accent on the second syllable (uh-PIH-tuh-mee).

Definitions of epitome
  1. noun
    a standard or typical example
    synonyms: image, paradigm, prototype
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    a concentrated example of something
    (psychoanalysis) an idealized image of someone (usually a parent) formed in childhood
    type of:
    example, model
    a representative form or pattern
  2. noun
    a brief abstract (as of an article or book)
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    type of:
    abstract, outline, precis, synopsis
    a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory
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