a combining form meaning “earlier,” “before,” “former,” used in the formation of compound words: proterotype.
Also, especially before a vowel, proter-.
Compare proto-.

< Greek, combining form representing próteros, comparative formed from pró; see pro-2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
combining form
anterior or former in time, place, order, etc: proterozoic
[from Greek proteros fore]

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