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a combining form meaning “earlier,” “before,” “former,” used in the formation of compound words:
Also, especially before a vowel, proter-.
Compare proto-.
Origin of protero-
< Greek, combining form representing próteros, comparative formed from pró; see pro-2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for protero-


combining form
anterior or former in time, place, order, etc: proterozoic
Word Origin
from Greek proteros fore
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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Word Origin and History for protero-

before vowels proter-, word-forming element meaning "former, earlier," from comb. form of Greek proteros "before, former, anterior," from PIE *pro-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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