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. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for prospectiveness


  1. looking towards the future
  2. (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 prospectiveness



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