prospective

adjective
pro·​spec·​tive | \ prə-ˈspek-tiv also ˈprä-ˌspek- How to pronounce prospective (audio) , prō-ˈspek-, prä-ˈspek-\

Definition of prospective

1 : relating to or effective in the future
2a : likely to come about : expected the prospective benefits of this law
b : likely to be or become a prospective mother

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Other Words from prospective

prospectively adverb

Examples of prospective in a Sentence

In 2005 [Jerry] Colangelo arranged face-to-face sit-downs with every prospective national team player, to hear in their own words why they wanted to represent their country. — Alexander Wolff, Sports Illustrated, 28 July 2008 All too often in the post-Vietnam past—the first Gulf War, for example—the default position of the Democratic Party has been to assume that any prospective use of U.S. military power would be immoral. — Joe Klein, Time, 21 Aug. 2006 All of these arguments were prospective, all anticipated the role that public opinion would play in future constitutional disputes. — Jack N. Rakove, Original Meanings … , 1996
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Recent Examples on the Web

In the 2005 agreement with the owners of the citrus groves, New West agreed to disclosure language for future prospective property owners in the area and to donate $200,000 to a housing developer to build a 10- to 12-foot sound wall. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Controversy in the air as Mesa homeowners decry neighboring asphalt plant’s odors," 11 July 2018 The failure to meet its production goals has increased pressure on the company and has prompted prospective Model 3 owners to request the company return their $1,000 refundable deposit for the vehicle. Kirsten Korosec, The Verge, "Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting will decide Elon Musk’s future," 5 June 2018 Their suit, backed later in legal filings by the National Shooting Sports Federation, contended the county had effectively banned new gun stores in unincorporated areas and therefore violated the rights of prospective gun owners. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, "Supreme Court leaves Alameda County’s gun store ordinance standing," 15 May 2018 As a field intern, my responsibilities included working in the community, trying to gauge interest from prospective voters and get a sense of what issues mattered to them most. Bushra Amiwala As Told To Joey Bartolomeo, Seventeen, "I'm A College Sophmore and I'm Running For Office," 16 Mar. 2018 The owner of the island will need a speedboat or helicopter to reach it, but prospective buyers don't seem to mind High Island's remote nature. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "There's a Private Island in Ireland on the Market For $1.4 Million," 22 Feb. 2019 Otherwise, the trade market remains bottled up with more prospective buyers than sellers. John Wawrow, The Seattle Times, "Players brace for moves as NHL trade deadline approaches," 20 Feb. 2019 The developer has said there is interest from prospective office tenants, but those tenants want to see some retail and residents first, as has happened at the City Place development near U.S. 169 and College Boulevard. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "OP Council reverses earlier vote, allows Brookridge rezoning despite protest," 19 June 2018 Orlando’s Pendana at West Lakes mixed-income apartments have debuted with 8,000 prospective tenants inquiring about 201 units, some of which rent for less than half of the going market rate. Mary Shanklin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "8,000 inquire about 201 apartments as Central Florida officials seek affordable housing options," 14 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prospective.' 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 prospective

1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prospective

see prospect entry 1

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Statistics for prospective

Last Updated

24 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prospective

The first known use of prospective was in 1788

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More Definitions for prospective

prospective

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of prospective

: likely to be or become something specified in the future
formal : likely to happen

prospective

adjective
pro·​spec·​tive | \ prə-ˈspek-tiv How to pronounce prospective (audio) , ˈprä-ˌspek-\

Kids Definition of prospective

1 : likely to become a prospective buyer
2 : likely to come about prospective benefits

prospective

adjective
pro·​spec·​tive | \ prə-ˈspek-tiv How to pronounce prospective (audio) \

Medical Definition of prospective

: relating to or being a study (as of the incidence of disease) that starts with the present condition of a population of individuals and follows them into the future — compare retrospective

Other Words from prospective

prospectively \ -​lē How to pronounce prospectively (audio) \ adverb

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prospective

adjective
pro·​spec·​tive | \ prə-ˈspek-tiv, ˈprä-ˌspek- How to pronounce prospective (audio) \

Legal Definition of prospective

1 : relating to or effective in the future a statute's prospective effect
2 : likely to come about : expected to happen prospective inability to perform the contract
3 : likely to be or become a prospective buyer

Other Words from prospective

prospectively adverb

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Comments on prospective

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