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

Places like Taizhou and Yancheng, a relatively wealthy city whose annual per-capita gross domestic product is almost 18% above the nation’s average, are used to prospering. WSJ, "China’s Downturn Hits Industrial Cities," 21 Jan. 2019 And when players prosper, Pachuca exports them to other teams. James Wagner, New York Times, "A Nightmare for Mexico’s Soccer Opponents: More Chuckys On the Way," 27 June 2018 Despite the CinemaScore, Hereditary is prospering at the box office with $13 million this weekend, A24's biggest opening ever. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Hereditary' Is Dividing Audiences," 10 June 2018 Imagine if the Angeles could prosper in the postseason, just like Trout’s favorite football team. Marc Narducci,, "Millville's Mike Trout is better than ever but thirsting for postseason success," 29 June 2018 The country’s economy may be booming, but for people from rural China, settling and prospering in a big Chinese city can often be as hard as going to work in a foreign country, sometimes even harder. The Economist, "Citizens of the worldWhy many rich Chinese don’t live in China," 17 May 2018 One to two thorough waterings a week should be enough to make your Candy Mountain flowers prosper. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "You Should Be Planting These ‘Candy Mountain’ Flowers in Your Garden For a Burst of Color," 26 Apr. 2019 Only during the boom years of the 1920s did the notion take on a more material definition—that any American might prosper and even become wealthy. Fergus M. Bordewich, WSJ, "‘Behold, America’ Review: Fighting Words," 13 Dec. 2018 Hackett's job will be to reinvent Ford into a new transportation company capable of prospering in a highly competitive and fast-changing business. Tribune Wire Reports,, "Executive shakeup at Ford to reinvent what it means to be an automaker," 23 May 2017

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

7 Jun 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).


behavior toward others

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