- done, performed, delivered, etc., at once or without delay: a prompt reply.
- ready in action; quick to act as occasion demands.
- quick or alert: prompt to take offense.
- to move or induce to action: What prompted you to say that?
- to occasion or incite; inspire: What prompted his resignation?
- to assist (a person speaking) by suggesting something to be said.
- Theater. to supply (an actor, singer, etc.) from offstage with a missed cue or forgotten line.
- Theater. to supply forgotten lines, lyrics, or the like to an actor, singer, etc.
- a limit of time given for payment for merchandise purchased, the limit being stated on a note of reminder (prompt note).
- the contract setting the time limit.
- the act of prompting.
- something serving to suggest or remind.
- Computers. a message or symbol from a computer system to a user, generally appearing on a display screen, requesting more information or indicating that the system is ready for user instructions.
- take a prompt, (in acting) to move or speak in response to a cue.
Origin of prompt
SynonymsSee more synonyms for prompt on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for prompt
For most people, just saying the name Manson is enough to prompt discomfort.Mrs. Manson, Hometown Antihero
November 24, 2014
Mamoon and his second wife, Liana, hope it will revive his reputation, and “prompt the reissuing of his books in forty languages.”A Novel About a Novelist ‘Like’ Naipaul
November 6, 2014
There is cautious optimism that this prompt action may have helped avert a broader outbreak.What’s Worse Than Ebola in West Africa? Almost Everything
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 23, 2014
Sticks and stones may break your bones but, as some University of Oregon campus cops learned recently, names can prompt a lawsuit.The First Amendment Works, But Does it Work Blue?
July 19, 2014
Failing to attend to these things brings prompt disciplining or patient complaint.How Being a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession
April 14, 2014
"I'd say that I was lucky to have half of the half that's left," was Emma's prompt retort.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
"It wasn't safe to bring them in the front way," was the Inspector's prompt reply.Within the Law
But she was as tender as ever, unfailingly patient, prompt to come to him and slow to leave.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Now every man to his station; be prompt, and be silent, and attend to the word of command.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
I could not prompt him to go on, but he presently did so himself, desolately enough.Questionable Shapes
William Dean Howells
- performed or executed without delay
- quick or ready to act or respond
- informal punctually
- (tr) to urge (someone to do something)
- to remind (an actor, singer, etc) of lines forgotten during a performance
- (tr) to refresh the memory of
- (tr) to give rise to by suggestionhis affairs will prompt discussion
- the time limit allowed for payment of the debt incurred by purchasing goods or services on credit
- the contract specifying this time limit
- Also called: prompt notea memorandum sent to a purchaser to remind him of the time limit and the sum due
- the act of prompting
- anything that serves to remind
- an aid to the operator of a computer in the form of a question or statement that appears on the screen showing that the equipment is ready to proceed and indicating the options available
Word Origin and History for prompt
early 15c., "readiness," from Latin promptus (see prompt (v.)). Meaning "hint, act of prompting" is from 1590s. Computer sense attested by 1977.
early 15c., from Old French prompt and directly from Latin promptus "brought forth," hence "visible, apparent, evident," past participle of promere "to take or bring out or forth" (see prompt (v.)).Related: Promptly; promptitude.