[ promp-ter ]
/ ˈprɒmp tər /


a person or thing that prompts.
Theater. a person who is offstage and follows a play in progress from the book, repeating missed cues and supplying actors with forgotten lines.
an electronic or mechanical device for prompting a speaker or performer.
Compare TelePrompTer.

Origin of prompter

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at prompt, -er1


un·der·prompt·er, noun

Definition for prompter (2 of 2)

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


historical usage of prompt

Prompt, adjective and verb, presents some oddities. One is that the first recorded date for the adjective is about 1425 and for the verb, 1428, making it impossible to determine which part of speech was the source for the other. A second oddity is that prompting, the gerund (verbal noun) logically derived from prompt and meaning “incitement or impulse to action,” is first recorded in 1402, a quarter of a century before the verb. A third difficulty is that the Medieval Latin verb promptāre, the possible source of the English word, does not exist per se but is inferred from its Medieval Latin derivative noun promptātor “one who incites or urges,” recorded in the mid-15th century, and the Old Italian verb prontare “to urge, press.”
The commercial sense of the noun prompt “a time limit given for payment for merchandise purchased" dates from the mid-18th century. The computer sense of the noun “a message or symbol on a display screen requesting more information from a user" dates from 1977. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prompter

British Dictionary definitions for prompter (1 of 2)

/ (ˈprɒmptə) /


a person offstage who reminds the actors of forgotten lines or cues
a person, thing, etc, that prompts

British Dictionary definitions for prompter (2 of 2)

Derived forms of prompt

promptly, 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