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[proh-tuh-path-ik] /ˌproʊ təˈpæθ ɪk/
adjective, Physiology.
noting or pertaining to a general, nondiscriminating responsiveness to pain or temperature stimuli (opposed to epicritic).
primitive; primary.
Origin of protopathic
First recorded in 1855-60; proto- + -pathic
Related forms
[pruh-top-uh-thee] /prəˈtɒp ə θi/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for protopathic
Historical Examples
  • protopathic and epicritic sensibility are lost over the radial side of the forearm.

    Manual of Surgery Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
  • protopathic sensibility is lost over an area which varies in different cases.

    Manual of Surgery Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
  • Deep sensibility is usually lost over an area almost as extensive as that of protopathic insensibility.

    Manual of Surgery Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
  • The areas of epicritic and of protopathic insensibility are illustrated in Fig. 91.

    Manual of Surgery Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
British Dictionary definitions for protopathic


adjective (physiol)
of or relating to a sensory nerve that perceives only coarse stimuli, such as pain
of or relating to such perception
Derived Forms
protopathy (prəʊˈtɒpəθɪ) noun
Word Origin
C20: from proto- + Greek pathos suffering, disease + -ic
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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protopathic in Medicine

protopathic pro·to·path·ic (prō'tə-pāth'ĭk)
Sensing pain, pressure, heat, or cold in a nonspecific manner, usually without localizing the stimulus. Used especially of certain sensory nerves.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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