prospect

1 of 2

noun

pros·​pect ˈprä-ˌspekt How to pronounce prospect (audio)
1
2
a(1)
: an extensive view
(2)
: a mental consideration : survey
b
: a place that commands an extensive view : lookout
c
: something extended to the view : scene
d
archaic : a sketch or picture of a scene
3
obsolete : aspect
4
a
: the act of looking forward : anticipation
b
: a mental picture of something to come : vision
c
: something that is awaited or expected : possibility
d prospects plural
(1)
: financial expectations
(2)
5
: a place showing signs of containing a mineral deposit
6
a
: a potential buyer or customer
b
: a likely candidate for a job or position

prospect

2 of 2

verb

pros·​pect ˈprä-ˌspekt How to pronounce prospect (audio)
 chiefly British  prə-ˈspekt
prospected; prospecting; prospects

intransitive verb

: to explore an area especially for mineral deposits

transitive verb

: to inspect (a region) for mineral deposits
broadly : explore
prospector
ˈprä-ˌspek-tər How to pronounce prospect (audio)
prə-ˈspek-
noun
Phrases
in prospect
: possible or likely for the future

Did you know?

Since the Latin prefix pro- often means "forward", prospect refers to looking forward. The prospect of a recession may lead investors to pull their money out of the stock market. Graduates of a good law school usually have excellent prospects for finding employment. Prospective students roam campuses with their parents in the year before they plan to enter college.

Choose the Right Synonym for prospect

prospect, outlook, anticipation, foretaste mean an advance realization of something to come.

prospect implies expectation of a particular event, condition, or development of definite interest or concern.

the prospect of a quiet weekend

outlook suggests a forecasting of the future.

a favorable outlook for the economy

anticipation implies a prospect or outlook that involves advance suffering or enjoyment of what is foreseen.

the anticipation of her arrival

foretaste implies an actual though brief or partial experience of something forthcoming.

the frost was a foretaste of winter

Examples of prospect in a Sentence

Noun the frightening prospect of going to war She is excited by the prospect of returning to school. Bankruptcy is an unlikely prospect for the company. There was no prospect that the two parties would reach an agreement anytime soon. a young baseball player who's considered a top prospect We haven't decided which car to buy yet. We're still looking at a few prospects. Verb soon all manner of people had arrived in the valley to prospect it for gold
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The prospect of moving faster and paving a new future for the astronaut corps excited Reisman, who left NASA in 2011 to work for SpaceX on its Crew Dragon vehicle. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 13 Apr. 2024 Right now, an excellent candidate looks like Dave Gitlin As of today, the best prospect is probably Carrier Global CEO Dave Gitlin, who’s a Boeing director. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 13 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for prospect 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Latin prospectus view, prospect, from prospicere to look forward, exercise foresight, from pro- forward + specere to look — more at pro-, spy

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1834, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of prospect was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near prospect

Cite this Entry

“Prospect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prospect. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

prospect

1 of 2 noun
pros·​pect ˈpräs-ˌpekt How to pronounce prospect (audio)
1
: a wide view
2
: looking forward to something : anticipation
the prospect of a good time
3
: something that is waited for or expected : possibility
what is the prospect of our seeing you again soon?
4
a
: a possible buyer or customer
b
: a likely candidate
a presidential prospect

prospect

2 of 2 verb
: to explore especially for mineral deposits
prospecting for gold

More from Merriam-Webster on prospect

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!