historical Designating an exciting, remote, or occasional cause; specifically designating a cause (usually external) which brings about disease in a predisposed patient. Compare proegumenal .
2Generally. Designating a primary or initial cause or factor.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Philemon Holland (1552–1637), translator. From post-classical Latin procatarcticus or its etymon Hellenistic Greek προκαταρκτικός initial, predisposing, also προκαταρκτικά (use as noun of neuter plural) immediate exciting causes of things from ancient Greek προ- + Hellenistic Greek καταρκτικός forming the beginning (from ancient Greek κατα- + Hellenistic Greek ἀρκτικός initial from the stem of ancient Greek ἄρχειν to begin + ancient Greek -τικός, suffix forming adjectives from verbs), after Hellenistic Greek προκατάρχειν to begin first.