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[pros-per] /ˈprɒs pər/
verb (used without object)
to be successful or fortunate, especially in financial respects; thrive; flourish.
verb (used with object)
Archaic. to make successful or fortunate.
Origin of prosper
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English prosperen < Latin prosperāre to make happy, derivative of prosperus prosperous
Related forms
unprospered, adjective
unprospering, adjective
1. fail. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prosper
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • prosper, as far as he was concerned, was suffering from want of sleep.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • prosper's answer was ready to slip from his tongue; he hesitated.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • prosper had stopped to let the donkey drink from the stream.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • prosper looked about him, taxing his recollection fruitlessly.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • And, as well as the shawl, I shall have something to send to prosper's old friend.

    Grandmother Dear

    Mrs. Molesworth
  • "She washes lace for ladies, prosper says," said Ralph, eagerly.

    Grandmother Dear

    Mrs. Molesworth
  • "Nothin', 'cept your bein' my old mother," said prosper hopelessly.

  • Small wonder if prosper's boyish heart had stirred a little too.

  • What could prosper hope to catch in such a snare—for whom could he have set it?

    The Doomsman Van Tassel Sutphen
British Dictionary definitions for prosper


(usually intransitive) to thrive, succeed, etc, or cause to thrive, succeed, etc in a healthy way
Word Origin
C15: from Latin prosperāre to succeed, from prosperus fortunate, from pro-1 + spēs hope
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 prosper

mid-14c., from Old French prosperer (14c.) and directly from Latin prosperare "cause to succeed, render happy," from prosperus "favorable, fortunate, prosperous," perhaps literally "agreeable to one's wishes," from Old Latin pro spere "according to expectation," from pro "for" + ablative of spes "hope," from PIE root *spe- "to flourish, succeed, thrive, prosper" (see speed (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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