from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Biology The living material of a plant or bacterial cell, including the protoplasm and plasma membrane after the cell wall has been removed.
- n. One that is the first made or formed; a prototype.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The thing first formed; that of which there are subsequent copies or reproductions; the original.
- n. A first-formed organized body; the first individual, or pair of individuals, of a species.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. That which or one who is first formed; the original, type, or model of some organic being; especially, the hypothetical first individual or one of the supposed first pair of the human race; a protoparent.
- n. A protozoan: a simple unicellular organism; specifically, a member of the Protoplasta.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a biological unit consisting of a nucleus and the body of cytoplasm with which it interacts
French protoplaste, from Old French, the first man, from Late Latin prōtoplastus, from Greek prōtoplastos : prōto-, proto- + plastos, formed, molded; see -plast.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French prothoplaste, and its source Late Latin protoplastus, from Hellenistic Ancient Greek πρωτόπλαστος ("first-formed"), from Ancient Greek πρωτο- + πλαστός ("formed, moulded"). (Wiktionary)