Idioms

    take a prompt, (in acting) to move or speak in response to a cue.

Origin of prompt

1300–50; (v.) Middle English < Medieval Latin prōmptāre to incite, Latin: to distribute, frequentative of prōmere to bring out, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + (e)mere to take, buy; (adj.) late Middle English < Latin promptus ready, prompt, special use of past participle of prōmere
Related formsprompt·ly, adverbprompt·ness, nouno·ver·prompt, adjectiveo·ver·prompt·ly, adverbo·ver·prompt·ness, nounqua·si-prompt, adjectivequa·si-prompt·ly, adverbun·prompt, adjectiveun·prompt·ly, adverbun·prompt·ness, nounun·prompt·ed, adjective

Synonyms for prompt

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prompt

Contemporary Examples of prompt

Historical Examples of prompt

  • "I'd say that I was lucky to have half of the half that's left," was Emma's prompt retort.

  • "It wasn't safe to bring them in the front way," was the Inspector's prompt reply.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • 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.

  • I could not prompt him to go on, but he presently did so himself, desolately enough.

    Questionable Shapes

    William Dean Howells



British Dictionary definitions for prompt

prompt

adjective

performed or executed without delay
quick or ready to act or respond

adverb

informal punctually

verb

(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

noun

commerce
  1. the time limit allowed for payment of the debt incurred by purchasing goods or services on credit
  2. the contract specifying this time limit
  3. 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
Derived Formspromptly, adverbpromptness, noun

Word Origin for prompt

C15: from Latin promptus evident, from prōmere to produce, from pro- 1 + emere to buy
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

Word Origin and History for prompt
v.

mid-14c., prompten, from Latin promptus, past participle of promere "to bring forth," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + emere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)). Theatrical sense of "to assist a speaker with lines" is first recorded early 15c. Related: Prompted; prompting.

n.

early 15c., "readiness," from Latin promptus (see prompt (v.)). Meaning "hint, act of prompting" is from 1590s. Computer sense attested by 1977.

adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper