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.

Nearby words

  1. promotive,
  2. promposal,
  3. prompt,
  4. prompt side,
  5. promptbook,
  6. prompting,
  7. promptitude,
  8. promptly,
  9. promptness,
  10. promulgate

Compare TelePrompTer.

Origin of prompter

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

Related formsun·der·prompt·er, noun



adjective, prompt·er, prompt·est.

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.

verb (used with object)

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.

verb (used without object)

Theater. to supply forgotten lines, lyrics, or the like to an actor, singer, etc.


  1. a limit of time given for payment for merchandise purchased, the limit being stated on a note of reminder (prompt note).
  2. 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.

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

Examples from the Web for prompter

British Dictionary definitions for prompter



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



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


  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 prompter
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper