Pro"to-(?). [Gr. prw^tos first, a superl. fr. pro` before. See Pro-.] 1. A combining form prefix signifying first, primary, primordial; as, protomartyr, the first martyr; protomorphic, primitive in form; protoplast, a primordial organism; prototype, protozoan.
(Chem.) (a) Denoting the first or lowest of a series, or the one having the smallest amount of the element to the name of which it is prefixed; as protoxide, protochloride, etc. (b) Sometimes used as equivalent to mono-, as indicating that the compound has but one atom of the element to the name of which it is prefixed. Also used adjectively.
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