Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Linguistics The addition of a phoneme or syllable at the beginning of a word, as in Spanish espina, “thorn,” from Latin spina.
  • noun The preparation of the bread and wine for the Eucharist.
  • noun The table used for this preparation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In the Gr. Ch.: The preparation and preliminary oblation of the eucharistic elements before the liturgy: more fully called the office of prothesis.
  • noun The table on which this preparation is made (the table or altar of prothesis). It answers to the Western credence-table.
  • noun The apartment or the part of the bema or sanctuary in which this table is situated and the office used (the chapel of prothesis). See bema and the cut there given.
  • noun In grammar, addition of one or more sounds or letters at the beginning of a word.
  • noun In surgery, prosthesis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Eccl.) A credence table; -- so called by the Eastern or Greek Church.
  • noun (Med.) See Prosthesis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun linguistics The prepending of phonemes at the beginning of a word without changing its morphological structure, as in nother, from other (“a whole nother thing”), or Spanish esfera from Latin sphaera ("sphere").
  • noun a type of preparatory ceremony, part of the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church

Etymologies

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

[Greek, prefixing, from protithenai, prothe-, to put before : pro-, before; see pro– + tithenai, to put; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.]

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