item that gives its name to a group [ eponymous ]

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Bodley Fludes

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American English
When the first of a new design of battleship was launched in 1906, it was named 'Dreadnaught'. Subsequent ships of the same type appeared, and that class of battleship became known as 'Dreadnaughts', after the first one launched.
What is the word applied to that first of a new kind, on account of it lending its name to describe the whole class?
'Dreadnaught' was therefore the ******* of that class of vessel.
This age-induced futile scrabbling to find a formerly well-known word has been driving me nuts for a few days now. My psychiatrist has advised me to avoid crosswords until the condition resolves itself.
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The original question has been answered to the poster's satisfaction.

    This thread is closed.

    Cagey,
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