- a combining form meaning “first,” “foremost,” “earliest form of,” used in the formation of compound words (protomartyr; protolithic; protoplasm), specialized in chemical terminology to denote the first of a series of compounds, or the one containing the minimum amount of an element.
Origin of proto-
Examples from the Web for proto
Contemporary Examples of proto
No one was using Final Cut, so it was this Proto Editing program.Casey Affleck, Star of ‘Out of the Furnace,’ on His Hollywood Struggles
December 2, 2013
Historical Examples of proto
Preservation of antiquities, 22 f. 'Proto–Corinthian' pottery, 41.
The ferrous or proto salts have generally a greenish colour, but yield nearly colourless908 solutions, except when concentrated.
Ferricyanide of potassium deepens the colour, but does not give a blue precipitate, as it does with ferrous salts (proto salts).
The snakes show the same extraordinary activity on the proto level as on the gaseous, twisting and writhing, darting and coiling.
The funnels let go the globes, but the eight ovoids remain within them, so that seven bodies are let loose on the proto level.
sometimes before a vowel prot-
- indicating the first in time, order, or rankprotomartyr
- primitive, ancestral, or originalprototype
- indicating the reconstructed earliest stage of a languageProto-Germanic
- indicating the first in a series of chemical compoundsprotoxide
- indicating the parent of a chemical compound or an elementprotactinium
Word Origin for proto-
before vowels prot-, word-forming element meaning "first, source, parent, preceding, earliest form, original, basic," from Greek proto-, comb. form of protos "first," from PIE *pre-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per).
- First in time:prototype.
- First formed; primitive; original:protoplast.
- Having the least amount of a specified element or radical:protoporphyrin.