pros·​per | \ ˈprä-spər How to pronounce prosper (audio) \
prospered; prospering\ ˈprä-​sp(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce prospering (audio) \

Definition of prosper

intransitive verb

1 : to succeed in an enterprise or activity especially : to achieve economic success
2 : to become strong and flourishing

transitive verb

: to cause to succeed or thrive

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Synonyms for prosper


burgeon (also bourgeon), flourish, thrive

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Examples of prosper in a Sentence

She prospered as a real estate agent. He hopes his business will prosper. No crop can prosper in this heat.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Rosen, as well as prospering undrafted rookie receiver Preston Williams, worked with members of the Dolphins first-team offense when the first 11-on-11 portion of practice begin with the Buccaneers Tuesday. Safid Deen,, "Josh Rosen grows comfortable, strives to show how ‘special’ he could be leading Dolphins offense," 13 Aug. 2019 During dry periods a lawn trying to prosper with excessive shade will be more sensitive to drought. Calvin Finch,, "How to deal if your lawn’s in excessive shade," 2 Aug. 2019 The hope is that if dollar stores are banned, grocery stores will prosper. Bob Sandrick,, "Broadview Heights considers moratorium on discount stores," 30 July 2019 Diamond notes with satisfaction that Indonesia has calmed and prospered in the past half-century. Daniel Immerwahr, The New Republic, "All Over the Map," 11 June 2019 But because the frigid Antarctic waters hold more dissolved oxygen than warmer water does, and because the ancestors of icefish probably already had some adaptations to help them prosper in the cold, the fish survived. Quanta Magazine, "Icefish Study Adds Another Color to the Story of Blood," 22 Apr. 2019 In terms of foreign policy, that means being pro-free trade, Russia-skeptic, and in favor of the open world that has helped Britain to prosper. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "No, Boris Johnson isn’t the UK’s Donald Trump," 25 July 2019 The drama presents a San Francisco that is prospering economically, but is in decline as a city of culture and opportunity. Dan Kopf, Quartzy, "Data prove the truth of “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”," 10 June 2019 And his white supremacist beliefs lived on and prospered, even as commentators agreed that his presidency was an abject failure. Michael Kazin, The New Republic, "The Impossibility of Impeachment," 10 June 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for prosper

Middle English, from Anglo-French prosperer, from Latin prosperare to cause to succeed, from prosperus favorable

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Statistics for prosper

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for prosper

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

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More Definitions for prosper



English Language Learners Definition of prosper

: to become very successful usually by making a lot of money
: to become very active, healthy, or strong


pros·​per | \ ˈprä-spər How to pronounce prosper (audio) \
prospered; prospering

Kids Definition of prosper

1 : to become successful usually by making money

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More from Merriam-Webster on prosper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prosper

Spanish Central: Translation of prosper

Nglish: Translation of prosper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prosper for Arabic Speakers

Comments on prosper

What made you want to look up prosper? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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