[ proth-uh-sis ]
/ ˈprɒθ ə sɪs /

noun, plural proth·e·ses [proth-uh-seez] /ˈprɒθ əˌsiz/

the addition of a sound or syllable at the beginning of a word, as in Spanish escala “ladder” from Latin scala.
Eastern Church.
  1. Also called proskomide. the preparation and preliminary oblation of the Eucharistic elements.
  2. the table on which this is done.
  3. the part of the sanctuary or bema where this table stands.
(often initial capital letter) Greek Antiquity. a representation of a dead person lying in state.

Origin of prothesis

1665–75; < Late Latin < Greek próthesis a putting before. See pro-2, thesis
Related formspro·thet·ic [pruh-thet-ik] /prəˈθɛt ɪk/, adjectivepro·thet·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prothesis

British Dictionary definitions for prothesis


/ (ˈprɒθɪsɪs) /


a process in the development of a language by which a phoneme or syllable is prefixed to a word to facilitate pronunciationLatin ``scala'' gives Spanish ``escala'' by prothesis
Eastern Orthodox Church the solemn preparation of the Eucharistic elements before consecration
Derived Formsprothetic (prəˈθɛtɪk), adjectiveprothetically, adverb

Word Origin for prothesis

C16: via Late Latin from Greek: a setting out in public, from pro- forth + thesis a placing
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 prothesis



from Greek prothesis "a placing before, a placing in public," from pro (see pro-) + thesis (see thesis). In ecclesiastical sense from 1670s; grammatical from 1870. Related: Prothetic (1835 in grammar); prothetical; prothetically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper