Definition of protasis in US English:



  • The clause expressing the condition in a conditional sentence (e.g. if you asked me in if you asked me I would agree).

    Often contrasted with apodosis
    • ‘As we apply the metaphor to the problem of the tongue-speakers at Corinth, we note that the protasis (the ‘if’ clause of a conditional sentence) of 7b can also be rendered, ‘if one does not give detailed explanation to the utterances.’’
    • ‘What prompts doubts, or at any rate questions, is the generality of his protasis.’
    • ‘But it's my guess that most people take the first two clauses of the song as the protases of a conditional, rather than as rhetorical questions.’


Late 16th century: via Latin from Greek protasis ‘proposition’, from pro ‘before’ + teinein ‘to stretch’.