- Now Rare a chief clerk in some law courts
- R.C.Ch. any of the seven members of the College of Prothonotaries Apostolic, who record important pontifical events: also sometimes held as an honorary title by other ecclesiastics
Origin of prothonotaryMiddle English from Medieval Latin prothonotarius from Ecclesiastical Late Latin protonotarius: see proto- and notary
nounpl. pro·thon·o·tar·ies, also pro·ton·o·tar·ies
Origin of prothonotaryMiddle English prothonotarie from Medieval Latin prōthonotārius from Late Latin prōtonotārius Greek prōto- proto- Latin notārius secretary ( from nota mark ; see gnō- in Indo-European roots.)
- A chief clerk of one of various courts of law.
- The chief secretary of the patriarch of Constantinople.
- One who had the charge of writing the acts of the martyrs, and the circumstances of their death.
- One of twelve persons, constituting a college in the Roman Curia, whose office is to register pontifical acts and to make and preserve the official record of beatifications.
From Middle English prothonotarie, from Medieval Latin prothonotarius, from Late Latin protonotarius, from Ancient Greek Ï€Ïá¿¶Ï„Î¿Ï‚ (protos) + Latin notarius (“secretary")