[ pruh-spek-tiv ]
/ prəˈspɛk tɪv /


of or in the future: prospective earnings.
potential, likely, or expected: a prospective partner.

Nearby words

  1. prosopospasm,
  2. prosopyle,
  3. prospect,
  4. prospect heights,
  5. prospecting,
  6. prospectively,
  7. prospector,
  8. prospectus,
  9. prosper,
  10. prosperity

Origin of prospective

From the Late Latin word prōspectīvus, dating back to 1580–90. See prospectus, -ive

Related formspro·spec·tive·ly, adverbpro·spec·tive·ness, noun

Can be confusedperspective prospective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prospective

British Dictionary definitions for prospective


/ (prəˈspɛktɪv) /


looking towards the future
(prenominal) anticipated or likely
Derived Formsprospectively, adverb

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 prospective



1580s, from obsolete French prospectif and directly from Medieval Latin prospectivus "affording a prospect; pertaining to a prospect," from Latin prospect-, past participle stem of prospicere (see prospect (n.)). In 17c. also as a noun, "spy glass, telescope." Related: Prospectively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper