verb (used with object)

to search or explore (a region), as for gold.
to work (a mine or claim) experimentally in order to test its value.

verb (used without object)

to search or explore a region for gold or the like.

Nearby words

  1. prosopoplegia,
  2. prosopopoeia,
  3. prosoposchisis,
  4. prosopospasm,
  5. prosopyle,
  6. prospect heights,
  7. prospecting,
  8. prospective,
  9. prospectively,
  10. prospector


    in prospect, under consideration; expected; in view: He had no other alternative in prospect.

Origin of prospect

1400–50; late Middle English prospecte < Latin prōspectus outlook, view. See prospectus

6, 7. See view. 7, 8. perspective.

Related formspros·pect·less, adjectivepros·pec·tor [pros-pek-ter, pruh-spek-ter] /ˈprɒs pɛk tər, prəˈspɛk tər/, nounnon·pros·pect, nounun·der·pros·pect, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prospects

British Dictionary definitions for prospects


noun (ˈprɒspɛkt)

(sometimes plural) a probability or chance for future success, esp as based on present work or aptitudea good job with prospects
a vision of the future; what is foreseen; expectationshe was excited at the prospect of living in London; unemployment presents a grim prospect
a view or scene, esp one offering an extended outlook
a prospective buyer, project, etc
a survey or observation
  1. a known or likely deposit of ore
  2. the location of a deposit of ore
  3. a sample of ore for testing
  4. the yield of mineral obtained from a sample of ore

verb (prəˈspɛkt)

(when intr, often foll by for) to explore (a region) for gold or other valuable minerals
(tr) to work (a mine) to discover its profitability
(intr often foll by for) to search (for)
Derived Formsprospectless, adjective

Word Origin for prospect

C15: from Latin prōspectus distant view, from prōspicere to look into the distance, from prō- forward + specere to look

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 prospects
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper