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n. pl. proth·e·ses (-sēz′)
1. Linguistics The addition of a phoneme or syllable at the beginning of a word, as in Spanish espina, "thorn," from Latin spina.
2. Eastern Orthodox Church
a. The preparation of the bread and wine for the Eucharist.
b. The table used for this preparation.

[Greek, prefixing, from protithenai, prothe-, to put before : pro-, before; see pro-2 + tithenai, to put; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.]

pro·thet′ic (prŏ-thĕt′ĭk) adj.
pro·thet′i·cal·ly adv.


1. (Phonetics & Phonology) a process in the development of a language by which a phoneme or syllable is prefixed to a word to facilitate pronunciation: Latin "scala" gives Spanish "escala" by prothesis.
2. (Eastern Church (Greek & Russian Orthodox)) Eastern Orthodox Church the solemn preparation of the Eucharistic elements before consecration
[C16: via Late Latin from Greek: a setting out in public, from pro- forth + thesis a placing]
prothetic adj
proˈthetically adv


(ˈprɒθ ə sɪs)

1. the addition of a sound or syllable at the beginning of a word, as in Spanish escala “ladder” from Latin scala.
2. Eastern Ch. the preparation and preliminary oblation of the Eucharistic elements.
[1665–75; < Late Latin < Greek próthesis placing in public, offering, preposition = pro(ti)thé(nai) to set out, display, put forward]
pro•thet•ic (prəˈθɛt ɪk) adj.
pro•thet′i•cal•ly, adv.