Prātimokṣa/Patimokkha meaning

In prātimokṣa, the mokṣa, I assume, is “liberation”, but what is prāti-/pati-? Is it “precept”? That seems unlikely, because prāti- looks like a suffix that denotes some kind of relation, like “for” or “to”.

Anyone care to educate me?

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It’s controversial. I’m not sure if a consensus has emerged, but it has been explained in two basic ways.

Either pati- has the sense of “anti-” in which case it means “anti-freedom”, i.e. “binding code”.

Or else pati-, like so many prefixes for -mokkha and related terms, is a mere qualifier or intensifier, so it would mean “liberator”.

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The word pātimokkha is variously explained, the oldest explanation being that the observance of the rules is the face (mukhaṃ), the chief (pamukhaṃ) of good qualities.

Source: https://suttacentral.net/define/pātimokkha

with Childers plausibly as paṭi + mokkha, grd. of muc (Caus. mokṣ˚) with lengthening of paṭi as in other grd. like pāṭidesaniya.
Thus in reality the same as paṭimokkha 2 in sense of binding, obligatory obligation, cp. Ja.v.25. The spelling is freq. pāti (BB pāṭi˚).
The Sk. prāṭimokṣa is a wrong adaptation fr. P. pātimokkha, it should really be pratimokṣya “that which should be made binding.”
An expln of the word after the style of a popular etym. is to be found at Vism.16

Source: https://suttacentral.net/define/pātimokkha%20pāti

Would anyone be kind to check what is found in Vism.16 ?

If it’s the binding sense then it might have a similar ‘etymological history’ as religion (from religare - to bind).

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