Figure Name prothesis
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Isidore 1.35.2; Mosellanus, a3r ("prothesis" "appositio"); Susenbrotus (1540) 20 ("prothesis," "appositio"); Sherry (1550) 26 ("prosthesis," "appositio," "apposition"); Wilson (1560) 202 ("addition at the first"); Peacham (1577) E2r; JG Smith (1665) ("prosthesis"); Macbeth (1876) ("prosthesis"); Holmes (1806) ("prosthesis"); Holmes (1806) ("apposition," "appositio")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms prosthesis, appositio, apposition, addition at the first, prefixing
Etymology < post-classical Latin prosthesis addition of a letter or syllable, usually at the beginning of a word (4th cent.) < ancient Greek {pi}{rho}{goacu}{sigma}{theta}{epsilon}{sigma}{iota}{fsigma} addition, in Hellenistic Greek also addition of a letter or syllable < {pi}{rho}{goacu}{fsigma} to (see PROSODY n.) + {theta}{geacu}{sigma}{iota}{fsigma} placing (see THESIS n.), after {pi}{rho}{omicron}{sigma}{tau}{iota}{theta}{geacu}{nu}{alpha}{iota} to put to, add. Compare French prosthèse (1638 in medical use, now usually prothèse (see PROTHESIS n.), 1765 in grammatical use), Portuguese próstese (1540 in grammatical use). Compare PROTHESIS n. The idea that a prosthetic letter or syllable was added specifically to the beginning of a word may have arisen from association of ancient Greek {pi}{rho}{omicron}{fsigma}- to (see above) with {pi}{rho}{omicron}- before (see PRO- prefix2); compare {pi}{rho}{goacu}{theta}{epsilon}{sigma}{iota}{fsigma} PROTHESIS n. 1. (OED)
Type Scheme
Linguistic Domain Morphological

1. The addition of a letter or syllable to the beginning of a word. A kind of metaplasm. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Prosthesis: a putting of one thing to another: a figure whereby a letter, or syllable is added to the beginning of a word.; PROSTHESIS, appositio, a putting of one letter to another, derived from [prostithemi] appono, to put or add unto. A figure (contrary to Aphaeresis) whereby a letter or syllable is added to the beginning of a word. (JG Smith)

3. Prefixing, or Prosthesis, is the seventh figure of spelling; the prefixing of one or more letters to the beginning of a word, as when Chaucer says of his favorite flower, as it was that of Burns, the daisy:
"The ground was green, ypowder'd with daisy." (Macbeth)

4. Prosthesis, to the front of words, doth add Letters or syllables they never had. (Holmes)

5. By Apposition substantives agree In case; yet numbers different may be. (Holmes)


1. Addition of an initial letter:
Adown we tumbled. (Silva Rhetoricae)

To say "gnatus" for "natus" —Terence
Addition of an initial syllable:
By going to Achilles.
That were to enlard his fat-already pride.
—Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida 2.3.194-195

To say "tetuli" instead of "tuli"

3. "On sped the seasons, and the forest child
Was rounded to the symmetry of youth,
While o'er her features stole, serenely mild,
The trembling sanctity of woman's truth-
Her modesty, and simpleness, and grace.
Yet those who deeper scan the human face,
Amid the trial hour of fear or ruth,
Could clearly read, upon its heaven-writ scroll,
The high and firm resolve that moved the Roman soul" - Lydia Sigourney (Macbeth)

4. Yclad, for clad, in armour; begirt, for girt, with a sword. (Holmes)

5. King George, The city, Athens. (Holmes)

Kind Of
Part Of
Related Figures aphaeresis, epenthesis, metaplasm, figures of etymology
Notes Unsure of 'type of'
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Nayoung Hong
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes Another example of a need for "Addition" to "Type of" -Nike
Reviewed No