An example of proto used as a prefix is in the word "prototype" which means the original model.
- first in time, original, primitive: protoplast
- first in importance, principal, chief: protonotary
- [P-] prehistoric or original: said of a people or language: Proto-Germanic
- forming nouns on the way to becoming the (specified) thing or kind of person: proto-suburbia, a proto-terrorist
- forming adjectives on the way to having the (specified) quality or relationship: a proto-Cubist painting
- being that member of a series of compounds having the lowest proportion of the (specified) element or radical: protoxide
- being the parent form of a (specified) substance
Origin of proto-Classical Greek pr?to- from pr?tos, first from Indo-European an unverified form p?to- from base an unverified form pro-, early, ahead from source Classical Latin pro-, Classical Greek pro-
- First in time; earliest: protolithic.
- First formed; primitive; original: protohuman.
- Proto- Being a form of a language that is the ancestor of a language or group of related languages: Proto-Germanic.
- Having the least amount of a specified element or radical: protoporphyrin.
Origin of proto-Greek prōto- from prōtos ; see per1 in Indo-European roots.
- Prototypical; preceding the proper beginning of something
- (linguistics) Used to form the name of the hypothetical ancestor of a family of languages.
- Proto-Indo-European is the ancestor of the Indo-European languages.
From Ancient Greek Ï€ÏÏ‰Ï„Î¿- (proto-), combination form of Ï€Ïá¿¶Ï„Î¿Ï‚ (protos, “first"), superlative of Ï€ÏÏŒ (pro, “before").