pros·​pect | \ ˈprä-ˌspekt How to pronounce prospect (audio) \

Definition of prospect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2a(1) : an extensive view
(2) : a mental consideration : survey
b : a place that commands an extensive view : lookout
c : something extended to the view : scene
d archaic : a sketch or picture of a scene
3 obsolete : aspect
4a : the act of looking forward : anticipation
b : a mental picture of something to come : vision
c : something that is awaited or expected : possibility
d prospects plural
(1) : financial expectations
(2) : chances
5 : a place showing signs of containing a mineral deposit
6a : a potential buyer or customer
b : a likely candidate for a job or position
in prospect
: possible or likely for the future


pros·​pect | \ ˈprä-ˌspekt How to pronounce prospect (audio) , chiefly British prə-ˈspekt \
prospected; prospecting; prospects

Definition of prospect (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to explore an area especially for mineral deposits

transitive verb

: to inspect (a region) for mineral deposits broadly : explore

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Other Words from prospect


prospector \ ˈprä-​ˌspek-​tər How to pronounce prospect (audio) , prə-​ˈspek-​ \ noun

Synonyms for prospect

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for prospect


prospect, outlook, anticipation, foretaste mean an advance realization of something to come. prospect implies expectation of a particular event, condition, or development of definite interest or concern. the prospect of a quiet weekend outlook suggests a forecasting of the future. a favorable outlook for the economy anticipation implies a prospect or outlook that involves advance suffering or enjoyment of what is foreseen. the anticipation of her arrival foretaste implies an actual though brief or partial experience of something forthcoming. the frost was a foretaste of winter

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Since the Latin prefix pro- often means "forward", prospect refers to looking forward. The prospect of a recession may lead investors to pull their money out of the stock market. Graduates of a good law school usually have excellent prospects for finding employment. Prospective students roam campuses with their parents in the year before they plan to enter college.

Examples of prospect in a Sentence

Noun the frightening prospect of going to war She is excited by the prospect of returning to school. Bankruptcy is an unlikely prospect for the company. There was no prospect that the two parties would reach an agreement anytime soon. a young baseball player who's considered a top prospect We haven't decided which car to buy yet. We're still looking at a few prospects. Verb soon all manner of people had arrived in the valley to prospect it for gold See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke even brought up the dreaded prospect of stagflation, in which a slowing economy meets high inflation. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 19 May 2022 In a draft that lacks a clear top prospect, like Cade Cunningham in last year's class, there could be incentive for the Magic to trade down. Larry Starks, USA TODAY, 18 May 2022 Meanwhile, the Red Sox’s No. 4 pitching prospect, Brayan Bello, was called up to Triple-A Worcester on Monday. Steve Hewitt, Hartford Courant, 16 May 2022 Raw but athletic tackle prospect with 36 1/8-inch arms. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 13 May 2022 Blocker is a high ESPN 4-star prospect, the No. 7 point guard and No. 28 player nationally in the 2023 class. Richard Davenport, Arkansas Online, 12 May 2022 The ministry’s assertion, if confirmed, strengthens the prospect that Russia could soon gain complete control over the region, known as the Donbas, compared with just a third of it before the Feb. 24 invasion. New York Times, 10 May 2022 The prospect of working with interesting people, with interesting ways of seeing the world, helps stave off fatigue. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 May 2022 Another prospect, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, never panned out. Peter Abraham,, 7 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This is an important scientific mission tasked with searching for ice at the south pole and using a one-meter drill to prospect for subsurface samples. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 20 Apr. 2022 Hayes bounces back and prospect Oneil Cruz brings some excitement. Jesse Yomtov, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2022 Detroit Tigers prospect Ryan Kreidler has been sidelined indefinitely with a fractured right hand. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 30 Apr. 2022 The options behind Rojas at third are less enticing, with the unproven Drew Ellis and veteran Matt Davidson looking like possibilities, and prospect Buddy Kennedy coming up behind them. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 4 Apr. 2022 His first pitch sailed to the backstop, nearly taking Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak’s head along with it. Nathan Ruiz, Baltimore Sun, 28 Mar. 2022 Last year, Merrill Lynch's Wealth Management unit banned trainee brokers from making cold calls, guiding them to use internal referrals and LinkedIn messages to prospect for new clients instead. Michael Boese, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2022 Cleveland came to camp with three catchers on the 40-man roster -- Austin Hedges, prospect Ryan Lavastida and Maile. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 26 Mar. 2022 Miguel Hernandez hasn’t played above Double-A, and prospect Matt McLain hasn’t played above High-A. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 20 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prospect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of prospect


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1834, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for prospect


Middle English, from Latin prospectus view, prospect, from prospicere to look forward, exercise foresight, from pro- forward + specere to look — more at pro-, spy

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Learn More About prospect

Time Traveler for prospect

Time Traveler

The first known use of prospect was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near prospect



prospect glass

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Statistics for prospect

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Prospect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for prospect


pros·​pect | \ ˈprä-ˌspekt How to pronounce prospect (audio) \

Kids Definition of prospect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that is waited for or expected : possibility … he was quite pleased at the prospect of a whole winter of reading travel books …— Richard {amp} Florence Atwater, Mr. Popper's Penguins
2 : someone or something that is likely to be successful : a likely candidate a presidential prospect
3 : a wide view The room provides a prospect of sea and land.


prospected; prospecting

Kids Definition of prospect (Entry 2 of 2)

: to explore especially for mineral deposits

More from Merriam-Webster on prospect

Nglish: Translation of prospect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prospect for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about prospect


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