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[pruh-spek-tiv] /prəˈspɛk tɪv/
of or in the future:
prospective earnings.
potential, likely, or expected:
a prospective partner.
Origin of prospective
From the Late Latin word prōspectīvus, dating back to 1580-90. See prospectus, -ive
Related forms
prospectively, adverb
prospectiveness, noun
Can be confused
perspective, prospective. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prospective
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • prospective happiness is perhaps the only real happiness in the world.

    Pearls of Thought Maturin M. Ballou
  • prospective Employer: I suppose you have some experience of live stock?

  • I have not yet come across his Drunkard's prospective , but it should be agreeable.

  • prospective admirers should not study too closely his political career.

    Idling in Italy Joseph Collins
  • Dr. Martineau was, at that time, one of the editors of the prospective Review.

    Harriet Martineau Florence Fenwick Miller
British Dictionary definitions for prospective


looking towards the future
(prenominal) anticipated or likely
Derived Forms
prospectively, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prospective

1580s, from obsolete French prospectif and directly from Medieval Latin prospectivus "affording a prospect; pertaining to a prospect," from Latin prospect-, past participle stem of prospicere (see prospect (n.)). In 17c. also as a noun, "spy glass, telescope." Related: Prospectively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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