- an apparent probability of advancement, success, profit, etc.
- the outlook for the future: good business prospects.
- an apparent indication of ore or native metal.
- a place giving such indications.
- a mine working or excavation undertaken in a search for additional ore.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- prospect heights,
Origin of prospect
- a known or likely deposit of ore
- the location of a deposit of ore
- a sample of ore for testing
- the yield of mineral obtained from a sample of ore
Word Origin for prospect
early 15c., "act of looking into the distance," from Latin prospectus "distant view, look out; sight, faculty of sight," noun use of past participle of prospicere "look out on, look forward," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + specere "look at" (see scope (n.1)). Meaning "extensive view of the landscape" is from 1530s; transferred sense of "mental view or survey" is from 1620s. Sense of "person or thing considered promising" is from 1922. Prospects "expectations, things looked forward to" is from 1660s.
"explore for gold, examine land with a view to a mining claim," 1841, from prospect (n.) in specialized sense of "spot giving prospects of ore" (1832). Earlier in a sense "look forth, look out over" (1550s), from Latin prospectare. Related: Prospected; prospecting.