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a combining form meaning “earlier,” “before,” “former,” used in the formation of compound words: proterotype.
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Which form is commonly used with other verbs to express intention?
Also especially before a vowel, proter-.
Compare proto-.

Origin of protero-

<Greek, combining form representing próteros, comparative formed from pró;see pro-2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does protero- mean?

Protero– is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “earlier,” “before,” or “former.” It is very occasionally used in scientific terms.

Protero– comes from Greek próteros, meaning “former” or “anterior.” The Latin cognate of próteros is prior “former, before,” which is the source of words such as prior and priority. To learn more, check out our entries for both words.

What are variants of protero-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, protero– becomes proter-, as in proterandrous.

Examples of protero-

One of the few scientific terms that features the form protero– is proterotype, “a primary type,” a term from biology meaning “a specimen used in the original description or illustration of a species.”

We know protero– means “earlier,” and the -type portion of the word refers to “type,” from Greek týpos. Proterotype literally translates to “earlier type.”

What are some words that use the combining form protero-?

  • proterobase
  • proterogenesis
  • proteroglyph
  • proterogynous
  • proterosaur

What are some other forms that protero– may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The word glyph means “a pictograph or hieroglyph.” With this in mind, what does proteroglyph literally mean?

British Dictionary definitions for protero-


combining form
anterior or former in time, place, order, etcproterozoic

Word Origin for protero-

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