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

Most of Iran's 80 million citizens have sadly never known an Iran that prospered in peace with its neighbors and commanded the admiration of the world. CNN, "READ: President Trump's announcement the US is withdrawing from Iran deal," 8 May 2018 Haley said a failure by China to respect the rights of its people and the rule of law would limit its ability to grow and prosper over the long term, and this would limit the United States’ relationship with China. Washington Post, "US envoy urges Pakistan to stop protecting terrorists," 28 June 2018 Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar have all gone home; Sweden, liberated from Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s ego, has prospered. Jonathan Wilson,, "The Danger of Overreacting to Brazil's Disappointing World Cup Exit," 7 July 2018 Small cities and rural areas are losing population and economic power while the state’s wealthy suburban crescent — from D.C. through Richmond to Hampton Roads — grows and prospers. Washington Post, "2 cities share name, but 1 is in big trouble," 6 July 2018 There are plenty of retailers that might prosper with relatively minor fixes, and that could benefit from the guidance a buyout firm can offer. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Retail Reckoning: How Private Equity Is Boosting Some Brands and Crushing Others," 24 Apr. 2018 The hope is that America's greatest space and aviation artifacts will live long and prosper. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Fully Restored "Star Trek" Enterprise Unveiled at Smithsonian Air and Space Museum," 28 June 2016 While Shirley’s feminist company prospered, other British computing companies using outdated, discriminatory business practices floundered, dragging down their industry as a whole. Marie Hicks, The Verge, "The long history behind the Google Walkout," 9 Nov. 2018 The country is prospering and job creation across all industries is at an all-time high. WSJ, "Knife in a Gun Fight Is Better Than Nothing," 22 Oct. 2018

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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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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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