prospect

noun
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

prospect

verb
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

Verb

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

Synonyms for prospect

Synonyms: Noun

command, lookout, outlook, panorama, perspective, view, vista

Synonyms: Verb

explore, hunt, probe, search, skirr

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Choose the Right Synonym for prospect

Noun

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

Did You Know?

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The students, many of whom hear about the program through social media, are well-educated (backgrounds range from engineering to journalism), but live in rural areas with limited job prospects. Pilar Guzmán, Condé Nast Traveler, "South Africa’s Other Big Five," 20 Dec. 2018 Getty Images Alongside the small, No Big Deal prospect of being the future King of England, Prince Charles has kind of a lot on his plate. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Prince Charles Expressed His One Concern for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's First Child," 6 Nov. 2018 The Democrats will put up your taxes, confidence will go down, the job prospects will get worse. Fox News, "Democrat and Republican outlook in key November elections," 11 Sep. 2018 Following a commitment-heavy weekend the start to this week has been relatively quite regarding local high school prospects. Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "Recruiting Trail: Lakota East's Trammel picks NKU soccer," 13 July 2018 The Gray deal brought them outfielder Dustin Fowler and highly regarded prospect Jorge Mateo (hitting .228 at Triple-A Nashville but said to have promise as a shortstop or outfielder). Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "New York has been a nightmare for Sonny Gray," 12 July 2018 Rivals and 247sports – released new basketball prospect rankings this week, just before the first open evaluation period of July. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Where locals land on new basketball prospect rankings for 2019 and 2020," 10 July 2018 Already, many gamers are chafing at the prospect of managing more distinct game platforms, each with their own siloed game stores and launchers, just to play their collection of PC games. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Discord Store to offer developers 90 percent of game revenues," 14 Dec. 2018 Trump is the presidential version of 4chan denizens adopting Bane and the Joker as patron saints: some men want to watch the world burn, others salivate at the prospect of beating up protestors. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Trump is embracing amoral villainy (and making HBO mad) with a Game of Thrones tweet," 2 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Shale drillers in the Permian Basin are producing vast amounts of gas as a byproduct of prospecting for oil. Rebecca Elliott, WSJ, "In Booming Oil Field, Natural Gas Can Be Free," 27 Dec. 2018 The re-election effort invests about $1 million a month on ads prospecting for new supporters, and the president now has data for 20 million Americans, according to his campaign. Julie Bykowicz, WSJ, "Small Campaign Donors Are Gift That Keeps Giving," 18 Nov. 2018 Welcome to a post-holiday edition of the Detroit Tigers prospects mailbag. George Sipple, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers prospects: Jacob Robson deserves to stay in Triple-A," 5 July 2018 Orioles prospects Ryan Mountcastle, a third baseman, and Alex Wells, a left-handed starting pitcher, have been selected to participate in this month’s All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles prospects Mountcastle, Wells named to play in All-Star Futures Game," 6 July 2018 His success in prospecting for gold has been equally unorthodox. Genesee Keevil, Popular Mechanics, "The Rush: What the World's Greatest Gold Prospector Knows," 17 May 2018 Photo: Richard Drew/Associated Press The NASA chief has advocated the White House position of cutting off direct federal funding for the international space station by 2025, but at this point prospects for that option appear dim on Capitol Hill. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Donald Trump to Host Space-Policy Council Promoting Commercial Ventures," 16 June 2018 Vecino's agent is believed to have met with Inter this week amongst all the took of his prospected move. SI.com, "Agent of Chelsea Target Matias Vecino Meets With Inter Officials to Discuss Contract Extension," 28 June 2018 The recipe is simple: Sun, salty water, seed bio-prospected from the ocean and fertilizer. Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, "Remote Texas algae farm grows a food for the future," 27 June 2018

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1834, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for prospect

Noun

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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Statistics for prospect

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prospect

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

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More Definitions for prospect

prospect

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prospect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the possibility that something will happen in the future
: an opportunity for something to happen
: someone or something that is likely to succeed or to be chosen

prospect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of prospect (Entry 2 of 2)

: to search an area for gold, minerals, oil, etc.

prospect

noun
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 and 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.

prospect

verb
prospected; prospecting

Kids Definition of prospect (Entry 2 of 2)

: to explore especially for mineral deposits

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Comments on prospect

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