Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

proto-

Original or first; primitive or ancestral.

[Greek prōtos, first.]

Examples include prototype, a first or preliminary model of something; protohuman, a hypothetical prehistoric primate, resembling humans and thought to be their ancestor; protomartyr, the first martyr for a cause, especially the first Christian martyr, St Stephen; protostar, a contracting mass of gas which represents an early stage in the formation of a star; protoplast (Greek plassein, to mould), the protoplasm of a living plant or bacterial cell whose cell wall has been removed; Protozoa (Latin plural of Greek zōion, animal), a phylum or grouping of phyla which comprises the single-celled microscopic animals.

Visit Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words site for 2000+ articles on English!

Copyright © Michael Quinion 2008–. All rights reserved. Page last updated 23 September 2008.
Your comments and suggestions on the site are very welcome.