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Sensing pain, pressure, heat, or cold in a nonspecific manner, usually without localizing the stimulus. Used especially of certain sensory nerves.
[From Medieval Greek prōtopathēs, affected first, from Greek prōtopathein, to feel first : prōto-, proto- + pathos, experience, feeling.]
pro·top′a·thy (-tŏp′ə-thē) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Physiology) of or relating to a sensory nerve that perceives only coarse stimuli, such as pain
2. (Physiology) of or relating to such perception
[C20: from proto- + Greek pathos suffering, disease + -ic]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
pro•to•path•ic(ˌproʊ təˈpæθ ɪk)
of or pertaining to neurons that sense only general areas of pain, heat, or cold.
pro•top•a•thy (prəˈtɒp ə θi) n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.