<prefix>

1. A combining form prefix signifying first, primary, primordial; as, protomartyr, the first martyr; protomorphic, primitive in form; protoplast, a primordial organism; prototype, protozoan.

2. <chemistry> Denoting the first or lowest of a series, or the one having the smallest amount of the element to the name of which it is prefixed; as protoxide, protochloride, etc. Sometimes used as equivalent to mono-, as indicating that the compound has but one atom of the element to the name of which it is prefixed. Also used adjectively.

Sometimes used as equivalent to mono-, as indicating that the compound has but one atom of the element to the name of which it is prefixed. Also used adjectively.

Origin: Gr. Protos first, a superl. Fr. Before.

(05 Feb 2009)

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