prospect

noun
pros·​pect | \ ˈprä-ˌspekt \

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 , 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 , 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

For locals, the prospect of living alongside the world’s priciest residential property evokes neither pride nor prejudice. Alex Bhattacharji, Town & Country, "An Empty Lot Above Beverly Hills Is the Most Expensive Real Estate in the World," 17 Jan. 2019 The prospect of spending taxpayer money with minimal restrictions didn’t sit quite right with her just a decade ago. Marcus Harrison Green, The Seattle Times, "Grandparents raising grandkids say they need more help from Washington state," 28 Dec. 2018 Just like the prospect of Mark Zuckerberg stepping down, anything Facebook ... Eric Johnson, Recode, "It’s time for Facebook’s board to step up," 23 Nov. 2018 Decades before the controversy surrounding the 1970s construction of Sutro Tower in San Francisco, the prospect of a Sutro Drive-In riled up neighborhood leaders from Twin Peaks to Clarendon Heights. Peter Hartlaub, SFChronicle.com, "SF almost had a Sutro Drive-In in 1950, and more local outdoor movie history," 13 July 2018 The prospect of saving so much for so far down the road may seem like far too large an obstacle when families have big, immediate expenses like childcare, car payments or mortgages. Stephanie Walden, USA TODAY, "How to find balance and get your retirement plan back on track," 13 July 2018 If the prospect of China hurting one of Europe’s premiere companies in order to punish the US sounds preposterous, then welcome to the world of trade wars and unintended circumstances. Molly Jackson, The Christian Science Monitor, "In a US-China trade war, big losers include ... BMW? Taiwan?," 12 July 2018 The prospect of selling Metro’s bulky downtown mother ship has gained traction as downtown revitalization has sent commercial property values higher. Martine Powers, Washington Post, "Metro seeks buyer for downtown D.C. headquarters," 12 July 2018 The prospect of yet another general election does not daunt them, either: The Tory rebels believe their support for a hard Brexit would help, not hurt, them in that vote. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "The Brexit Crisis Finally Engulfs the Party That Started It," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 ICOs occur when units of virtual currencies are made available to investors prospecting for a growth in the currency’s value. Marco Santana, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Florida CFO: New position will oversee cryptocurrency," 26 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

11 Feb 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 \

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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