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[prot-uh-sis] /ˈprɒt ə sɪs/
noun, plural protases
[prot-uh-seez] /ˈprɒt əˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
the clause expressing the condition in a conditional sentence, in English usually beginning with if.
Compare apodosis.
the first part of an ancient drama, in which the characters are introduced and the subject is proposed.
Compare catastasis, catastrophe (def 4), epitasis.
(in Aristotelian logic) a proposition, especially one used as a premise in a syllogism.
Origin of protasis
1610-20; < Late Latin: introduction in a drama < Greek prótasis proposition, literally, a stretching forward, equivalent to pro- pro-2 + tásis a stretching (ta-, verbid stem of teínein to stretch + -sis -sis) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for protasis
Historical Examples
  • It is a protasis of the complex order, as M. Lysidas used to say.

    A Tour Through The Pyrenees Hippolyte Adolphe Taine
  • Here we regularly have the Indicative in both protasis and Apodosis.

    New Latin Grammar Charles E. Bennett
  • The apodosis (qu'est-ce que je ferais) is omitted and only the protasis is expressed.

    Contes Franais Douglas Labaree Buffum
  • The hank time-taking to a hinge one (protasis):—If ye ask (hinge), ye shall receive (hank).

  • The protasis takes those tenses of the Subjunctive which are required by the Sequence of Tenses.

    New Latin Grammar Charles E. Bennett
  • The protasis takes those tenses of the Subjunctive demanded by the sequence of tenses.

    New Latin Grammar Charles E. Bennett
  • The protasis in Conditional Sentences of this type always remains unchanged.

    New Latin Grammar Charles E. Bennett
  • It went off, as G. assured M., exactly as the opening act of a piece—the protasis—should do.

  • Positing what protasis would the contraction for such several schemes become a natural and necessary apodosis?

    Ulysses James Joyce
British Dictionary definitions for protasis


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
(logic, grammar) the antecedent of a conditional statement, such as it rains in if it rains the game will be cancelled Compare apodosis
(in classical drama) the introductory part of a play
Derived Forms
protatic (prɒˈtætɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C17: via Latin from Greek: a proposal, from pro- before + teinein to extend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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