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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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").
  • n. a type of preparatory ceremony, part of the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A credence table; -- so called by the Eastern or Greek Church.
  • n. See Prosthesis.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the Gr. Ch.: The preparation and preliminary oblation of the eucharistic elements before the liturgy: more fully called the office of prothesis.
  • n. The table on which this preparation is made (the table or altar of prothesis). It answers to the Western credence-table.
  • n. 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.
  • n. In grammar, addition of one or more sounds or letters at the beginning of a word.
  • n. In surgery, prosthesis.


Greek, prefixing, from protithenai, prothe-, to put before : pro-, before; see pro-2 + tithenai, to put; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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