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

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

: to cause to succeed or thrive

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.
Recent Examples on the Web India had little history of anti-Semitism: A smattering of tiny Jewish communities had prospered in the country for centuries without facing any form of persecution. Vaibhav Vats, The Atlantic, 26 Oct. 2023 Wild squashes prospered in the Americas before the arrival of humans. Andrea Aliseda, Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2023 Hawk’s power — to pass, to prosper, to marry the right woman (Allison Williams) and hold out for the right post — is brutally, catastrophically real. Matt Brennan, Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2023 Technology companies still prospered, signing government contracts and participating in Russia’s political and economic life. Foreign Affairs, 3 Nov. 2023 At a time when the average selling price of new cars has risen to about forty-eight thousand dollars, the automaker would appear to have ample room to prosper. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 31 Oct. 2023 Those communities lost economic power, and other things that helped those communities prosper. Okla Jones, Essence, 15 Aug. 2023 The city prospered as the Navy and shipbuilders moved in after World War I. San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Oct. 2023 Shawn Fain has said the workers have fallen behind while the automakers and executives like Jim Farley, Ford’s chief executive, and Mary Barra, G.M.’s chief executive, have prospered. Neal E. Boudette, New York Times, 18 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prosper.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English prosperen, borrowed from Anglo-French prosperer "to promote, foster, be fortunate or successful," borrowed from Latin prosperāre "to cause to succeed, further" (Medieval Latin also, in passive, "to be granted success, succeed"), verbal derivative of prosperus "agreeable to one's wishes, successful, prosperous"

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near prosper

Cite this Entry

“Prosper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pros·​per ˈpräs-pər How to pronounce prosper (audio)
prospered; prospering -p(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce prosper (audio)
: to succeed or make money in something one is doing
: to cause to become prosperous

More from Merriam-Webster on prosper

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!