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From Middle French, from Late Latin promptitudo, from Latin promptus.


promptitude (usually uncountable, plural promptitudes)

  1. The quality of being prompt; alacrity.
    • 1842, [anonymous collaborator of Letitia Elizabeth Landon], chapter LIII, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume III, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 58:
      The pleasure evinced by Sir Charles was only less than that of his lady, and, as he appeared every way worthy of her, and sensible of her value, Mr. Glentworth bade her adieu with the more cheerfulness, and, on their return to the hotel, Isabella had ceased to lament the transaction, and all agreed to praise that promptitude of action which had enabled him to perform his wishes so happily.
    • 1894, Harold Frederic, “My Aunt Susan”, in Marsena and Other Stories of the Wartime, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner's Sons, page 200:
      "I've been directed here to find Miss Susan Pike," the man outside explained, between fresh coughings. ¶ "Well, then, mog your boots out of this as quick as ever you can!" my Aunt replied, with great promptitude. "You won't find her here!"
    • 1924, Herman Melville, chapter 18, in Billy Budd[1], London: Constable & Co.:
      Small wonder then that the Indomitable's Captain, though in general a man of rapid decision, felt that circumspectness not less than promptitude was necessary.
    • 1946 May and June, J. Alan Rannie, “The Midland of 35 Years Ago”, in Railway Magazine, page 135:
      Also, much depended on an exceptional esprit de corps which permeated the whole staff, and achieved miracles of promptitude in such details as engine-changing and the marshalling of trains.





Learned borrowing from Late Latin promptitūdō. By surface analysis, prompt +‎ -itude.


  • IPA(key): /pʁɔ̃p.ti.tyd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -yd


promptitude f (uncountable)

  1. promptitude
    Antonym: lenteur
    Near-synonyms: rapidité, vitesse

Further reading[edit]