See more synonyms for prosthetics on
noun (used with a singular or plural verb)
  1. the branch of surgery or of dentistry that deals with the replacement of missing parts with artificial structures.Compare prosthodontics.
  2. the fabrication and fitting of prosthetic devices, especially artificial limbs.

Origin of prosthetics

First recorded in 1890–95; see origin at prosthesis, -ics


  1. of or relating to an artificial body part or prosthesis: He was fitted for a prosthetic arm.
  2. of or relating to the fields of surgical or dental prosthetics: advances in prosthetic technology.
  3. of or relating to a substance, item, or process used to transform a person’s appearance temporarily, especially as a theatrical special effect: The final scene required painstaking application of prosthetic hair and skin.
  1. an artificial body part; a prosthesis: Hundreds of amputees volunteered to test the new prosthetics.
  2. an appearance-altering substance or item applied temporarily to a person’s face or body, especially to create a theatrical special effect: Alien creatures are brought to life with realistic prosthetics.

Origin of prosthetic

1735–40; < Modern Latin prostheticus, from Hellenistic Greek prosthetikós, equivalent to prósthet(os) “added on,” verbid of prostithе́nai “to add, put onto” (pros- pros-. + the-, stem of tithе́nai “to put, place” + -tos verbid suffix) + -ikos -ic
Related formspros·thet·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for prosthetics


  1. (functioning as singular) the branch of surgery concerned with prosthesis
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

Word Origin and History for prosthetics

1894, from prosthetic; also see -ics.



1837 in grammar; 1902 in the surgical sense, from Latinized form of Greek prosthetikos "disposed to add," from prosthetas "added," verbal adjective of prostithenai "to put to, add to" (see prosthesis). Related: Prosthetically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

prosthetics in Medicine


  1. The branch of medicine or surgery that deals with the production and application of artificial body parts.
Related formsprosthe•tist (prŏsthĭ-tĭst) n.


  1. Serving as or relating to a prosthesis.
  2. Of or relating to prosthetics.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.