ETYM Stereo- + -type: cf. French stéréotype.
A conventional or formulaic conception or image.
Metal printing plate cast from a mold of the setup type; standardised or hackneyed image or concept.
In sociology, a fixed, exaggerated, and preconceived description about a certain type of person, group, or society.
It is based on prejudice rather than fact, but by repetition and with time, stereotypes become fixed in people's minds, resistant to change or factual evidence to the contrary.
The term, originally used for a method of duplicate printing, was adopted in a social sense by the US journalist Walter Lippman in 1922. Stereotypes can prove dangerous when used to justify persecution and discrimination. Some sociologists believe that stereotyping reflects a power structure in which one group in society uses labeling to keep another group “in its place”.