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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Prodrome \Pro"drome\, n. [Gr. ? running before; ? before + ? to run: cf. F. prodrome.]

  1. A forerunner; a precursor.

  2. (Med.) A premonitory symptom; a symptom or sensation experienced by a person which presages the onset of a disease or abnormal physiological event; as, the prodrome of an epileptic seizure.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1640s, from French prodrome (16c.), from Modern Latin prodromus, from Greek prodromos "a running forward, a sally, sudden attack," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + dromos "a running" (see dromedary).


a. (context obsolete English) prodromous. n. 1 (context rare English) A precursor or harbinger; also a warning event. 2 An introductory or preliminary book or treatise. (See also prodromus) 3 (context medicine English) An early symptom warning of the onset of a disease.


n. an early symptom that a disease is developing or that an attack is about to occur [syn: prodroma]


In medicine, a prodrome is an early symptom (or set of symptoms) that might indicate the start of a disease before specific symptoms occur. It is derived from the Greek word prodromos, meaning "precursor". Prodromes may be non-specific symptoms or, in a few instances, may clearly indicate a particular disease, such as the prodromal migraine aura.

For example, fever, malaise, headache and lack of appetite frequently occur in the prodrome of many infective disorders. A prodrome can be the precursor to the onset of a chronic neurological disorder such as migraine or epilepsy, where prodrome symptoms include euphoria, scotoma, disorientation, aphasia, or photosensitivity.

It also refers to the initial in vivo round of viral replication.

Prodromal labour, mistakenly called "false labour," refers to the early signs before labour starts.

Usage examples of "prodrome".

I am surprised that you do not choose to wear mail and carry a banner on high, like a prodrome of old!

The old prodrome: everything turning glassy, circular, convex, pistons pumping, heart jumping.