[ proh-thon-uh-ter-ee, proh-thuh-noh-tuh-ree ]

noun,plural pro·thon·o·tar·ies.
  1. a chief clerk or official in certain courts of law.

  2. Roman Catholic Church.

    • any of the seven members of the college of prothonotaries apostolic, charged chiefly with the registry of pontifical acts and canonizations.

    • an honorary title for certain other prelates.

  1. Greek Orthodox Church. the chief secretary of the patriarch of Constantinople.

Origin of prothonotary

1400–50; late Middle English <Medieval Latin prōthonotārius,Late Latin prōtonotārius<Greek prōtonotā́rios.See proto-, notary

Other words from prothonotary

  • pro·thon·o·tar·i·al [proh-thon-uh-tair-ee-uhl, proh-thuh-noh-tair-], /proʊˌθɒn əˈtɛər i əl, ˌproʊ θə noʊˈtɛər-/, adjective

Words Nearby prothonotary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use prothonotary in a sentence

  • You turn up your eyes in wonder—the prothonotary of an English court would scarcely sport such a fox-hunter's garb.

    Bits of Blarney | R. Shelton Mackenzie
  • Alexander lured the prothonotary to Rome and, having confined him in the castle of S. Angelo, began a process against him.

    Lucretia Borgia | Ferdinand Gregorovius
  • I speeded to the prothonotary's office, which was kept in the village, and quickly ascertained the truth of Hadwin's pretensions.

    Arthur Mervyn | Charles Brockden Brown
  • Another of this family conspicuous for its brilliant coloring is the prothonotary warbler.

  • That day I found the first nest of the prothonotary warbler.

    Everyday Adventures | Samuel Scoville

British Dictionary definitions for prothonotary



/ (ˌprəʊθəˈnəʊtərɪ, -trɪ, prəʊˈθɒnə-) /

nounplural -taries
  1. (formerly) a chief clerk in certain law courts

Origin of prothonotary

C15: from Medieval Latin prōthonotārius, from prōtho- proto- + Late Latin notārius notary

Derived forms of prothonotary

  • prothonotarial (prəʊˌθɒnəˈtɛərɪəl) or protonotarial, adjective

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