\ ˈpräm(p)t How to pronounce prompt (audio) \
prompted; prompting; prompts

Definition of prompt

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to move to action : incite
2 : to assist (one acting or reciting) by suggesting or saying the next words of something forgotten or imperfectly learned : cue
3 : to serve as the inciting cause of evidence prompting an investigation


adjective (1)

Definition of prompt (Entry 2 of 4)

: of or relating to prompting actors


adjective (2)

Definition of prompt (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : being ready and quick to act as occasion demands
2 : performed readily or immediately prompt assistance


plural prompts\ ˈpräm(p)ts How to pronounce prompt (audio) , ˈprämps \

Definition of prompt (Entry 4 of 4)

1 [prompt entry 1] : something that prompts : reminder
2 [prompt entry 3] : a limit of time given for payment of an account for goods purchased also : the contract by which this time is fixed

Other Words from prompt


prompter noun

Adjective (2)

promptness \ ˈpräm(p)t-​nəs How to pronounce prompt (audio) , ˈprämp-​nəs \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for prompt

Adjective (2)

quick, prompt, ready, apt mean able to respond without delay or hesitation or indicative of such ability. quick stresses instancy of response and is likely to connote native rather than acquired power. quick reflexes a keen quick mind prompt is more likely to connote training and discipline that fits one for instant response. prompt emergency medical care ready suggests facility or fluency in response. backed by a pair of ready assistants apt stresses the possession of qualities (such as intelligence, a particular talent, or a strong bent) that makes quick effective response possible. an apt student her answer was apt and to the point

Examples of prompt in a Sentence

Verb Curiosity prompted her to ask a few questions. Pride prompted his angry response. The evidence prompted a criminal investigation. “Did you hear me?” he prompted when his friend did not respond to his first question. The actor had to be prompted by someone who was standing offstage. The computer prompted me to type in a number. Noun The actor was given a prompt by someone offstage. See More

First Known Use of prompt


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (1)

1784, in the meaning defined above

Adjective (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prompt


Middle English, from Medieval Latin promptare, from Latin promptus prompt

Adjective (2)

Middle English, from Latin promptus ready, prompt, from past participle of promere to bring forth, from pro- forth + emere to take — more at redeem

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Time Traveler for prompt

Time Traveler

The first known use of prompt was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near prompt




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Cite this Entry

“Prompt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for prompt


\ ˈprämpt How to pronounce prompt (audio) \
prompted; prompting

Kids Definition of prompt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to lead to do something Curiosity prompted me to ask the question.
2 : to be the cause of The incident prompted an investigation.
3 : to remind of something forgotten or poorly learned Sometimes it's necessary to prompt an actor.

Other Words from prompt

prompter noun


prompter; promptest

Kids Definition of prompt (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : quick and ready to act She's always prompt to volunteer.
2 : being on time : punctual
3 : done at once : given without delay The patient needed prompt attention.

Other Words from prompt

promptly adverb
promptness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on prompt

Nglish: Translation of prompt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prompt for Arabic Speakers


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