Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Grammar The dependent clause of a conditional sentence, as if it rains in The game will be canceled if it rains.
  • n. The first part of an ancient Greek or Roman drama, in which the characters and subject are introduced.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the first part of a play, in which the setting and characters are introduced
  • n. the antecedent in a conditional sentence

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A proposition; a maxim.
  • n. The introductory or subordinate member of a sentence, generally of a conditional sentence; -- opposed to apodosis. See Apodosis.
  • n. The first part of a drama, of a poem, or the like; the introduction; opposed to epitasis.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A proposition; a maxim.
  • n. In grammar and rhetoric, the first clause of a conditional sentence, being the condition on which the main term (apodosis) depends, or notwithstanding which it takes place: as, if we run (protasis), we shall be in time (apodosis); although he was incompetent (protasis), he was elected (apodosis). see apodosis.
  • n. In the ancient drama, the first part of a play, in which the several persons are shown, their characters intimated, and the subject proposed and entered on: opposed to epitasis.
  • n. In ancient prosody, the first colon of a dicolic verse or period.

Etymologies

Late Latin, proposition, first part of a play, from Greek, premise of a syllogism, conditional clause, from proteinein, prota-, to propose : pro-, forward; see pro-2 + teinein, to stretch; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin, from Ancient Greek πρότασις (protasis), from προτείνω (proteino, "put forward, tender, propose"), from πρό (pro) + τείνω (teino, "stretch"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Rather, containing the protasis from the last clause of Job 22: 23,

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • But don't trust Microsoft's word processor because it suggests the word "protasis" does not exist in the English language.

    SARA - Southeast Asian RSS Aggregator

  • We have seen that both propositions of her protasis are false, and now for the apodosis.

    The Logos of Bangladesh

  • To offer a grammatical example, it would be like someone pronouncing a protasis and not following it with an apodosis.

    Archive 2008-02-03

  • Therefore every one of these is of some use in speech; but nothing is a part or element of speech (as has been said) except a noun and a verb, which make the first juncture allowing of truth or falsehood, which some call a proposition or protasis, others an axiom, and which Plato called speech.

    Essays and Miscellanies

  • Is it that at first the ancients called that [Greek omitted], or speech, which once was called protasis and now is called axiom or proposition, — which as soon as a man speaks, he speaks either true or false?

    Essays and Miscellanies

  • Positing what protasis would the contraction for such several schemes become a natural and necessary apodosis?

    Ulysses

  • It doubles itself in the middle of his life, reflects itself in another, repeats itself, protasis, epitasis, catastasis, catastrophe.

    Ulysses

  • Indian on its Babylonian antecedent is clear from the identity of many entire omen statements — both protasis and apodosis.

    ASTROLOGY

  • Aristotle's own account of this word (Prior Analyt ii. 1) is [Greek: eis on dialuetai hae protasis], but both in the account of [Greek: nous] and here it seems that the proposition itself is really indicated by it.

    Ethics

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  • The “if�? and “then�? parts of conditional (�?if P then Q�?) statement are called the protasis (P) and apodosis (Q).

    April 26, 2007