From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Prospect



From Latin prospectus, past participle of prospicere (to look forward), from pro (before, forward) + specere, spicere (to look, to see), equivalent to pro- +‎ -spect.



prospect (plural prospects)

  1. The region which the eye overlooks at one time; view; scene; outlook.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book III”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC, lines 543–552:
      As when a Scout [] Obtains the brow of ſome high-climbing Hill, / Which to his eye diſcovers unaware / The goodly proſpect of ſome forein land / Firſt-ſeen, or ſome renownd Metropolis / With gliſtering Spires and Pinnacles adornd, / Which now the Riſing Sun guilds with his beams.
  2. A picturesque or panoramic view; a landscape; hence, a sketch of a landscape.
    • 1649 June 20, John Evelyn, edited by William Bray, John Evelyn's Diary, volume 1, London: Henry Colburn, published 1850, page 251:
      I went to Putney, and other places on the Thames, to take prospects in crayon, to carry into France, where I thought to have them engraved.
    • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma, volume III, chapter 6:
      She felt all the honest pride and complacency which her alliance with the present and future proprietor could fairly warrant, as she viewed the respectable size and style of the building, its suitable, becoming, characteristic situation, low and sheltered—its ample gardens stretching down to meadows washed by a stream, of which the Abbey, with all the old neglect of prospect, had scarcely a sight ...
    • 1947 January and February, O. S. Nock, “"The Aberdonian" in Wartime”, in Railway Magazine, page 7:
      The wide prospect up stream was grey and lowering, the long still-distant waterfront of Dundee, and the Fife shore were alike colourless, and there was ample evidence of rough weather not far ahead.
  3. A position affording a fine view; a lookout.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book III”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC, lines 77–79:
      Him God beholding from his proſpect high, / Wherein paſt, preſent, future he beholds, / Thus to his onely Son forſeeing ſpake.
  4. Relative position of the front of a building or other structure; face; relative aspect.
  5. The act of looking forward; foresight; anticipation.
    • 1689 (indicated as 1690), [John Locke], An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. [], London: [] Eliz[abeth] Holt, for Thomas Basset, [], →OCLC:
      a very ill prospect of a future state
    • 1663, John Tillotson, The Wisdom of being Religious:
      Is he a prudent man as to his temporal estate, that lays designs only for a day, without any prospect to, or provision for, the remaining part of life?
  6. The potential things that may come to pass, often favorable.
    • 1788, James Hutton, Theory of the earth, page 166:
      The result, therefore, of this physical inquiry is, that we find no vestige of a beginning,— no prospect of an end.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter II, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      We drove back to the office with some concern on my part at the prospect of so large a case. Sunning himself on the board steps, I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke. He was dressed out in broad gaiters and bright tweeds, like an English tourist, and his face might have belonged to Dagon, idol of the Philistines.
    • 2011 September 2, Phil McNulty, “Bulgaria 0-3 England”, in BBC:
      And a further boost to England's qualification prospects came after the final whistle when Wales recorded a 2-1 home win over group rivals Montenegro, who Capello's men face in their final qualifier.
    • 2013 June 7, Joseph Stiglitz, “Globalisation is about taxes too”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 19:
      It is time the international community faced the reality: we have an unmanageable, unfair, distortionary global tax regime. […] It is the starving of the public sector which has been pivotal in America no longer being the land of opportunity – with a child's life prospects more dependent on the income and education of its parents than in other advanced countries.
  7. A hope; a hopeful.
  8. (sports) Any player whose rights are owned by a top-level professional team, but who has yet to play a game for said team.
  9. (sales) A potential client or customer.
  10. (music) The façade of an organ.

Derived terms[edit]



prospect (third-person singular simple present prospects, present participle prospecting, simple past and past participle prospected)

  1. (intransitive) To search, as for gold.
    • 1904, M. A. Stein, “A Journey of Geographical and Archaeological Exploration in Chinese Turkestan”, in Annual report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 1903[1], Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, →OCLC, pages 762–763:
      Among the ancient sites in the Taklamakan Desert which are frequented by Khotan "treasure seekers," and which the prospecting parties sent out by me had visited, none seemed to offer better opportunities for systematic excavations than the one known to them as Dandan-Uilik.
  2. (geology, mining) To determine which minerals or metals are present in a location.





Borrowed from German Prospekt.


prospect n (plural prospecte)

  1. brochure