[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.
    1. any of the seven members of the college of prothonotaries apostolic, charged chiefly with the registry of pontifical acts and canonizations.
    2. an honorary title for certain other prelates.
  3. 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
Related formspro·thon·o·tar·i·al [proh-thon-uh-tair-ee-uh l, proh-thuh-noh-tair-] /proʊˌθɒn əˈtɛər i əl, ˌproʊ θə noʊˈtɛər-/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for prothonotary

Historical Examples of prothonotary

British Dictionary definitions for prothonotary



noun plural -taries
  1. (formerly) a chief clerk in certain law courts
Derived Formsprothonotarial (prəʊˌθɒnəˈtɛərɪəl) or protonotarial, adjective

Word Origin for prothonotary

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

also protonotary, mid-15c., "principal clerk of a court," from Late Latin prothonotarius, from Greek protonotarios "first scribe," originally the recorder of the court of the Byzantine empire, from protos "first" (see proto-) + Latin notarius (see notary). The -h- appeared in Medieval Latin

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper