[pruh-spek-tuh s]
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noun, plural pro·spec·tus·es.
  1. a document describing the major features of a proposed literary work, project, business venture, etc., in enough detail so that prospective investors, participants, or buyers may evaluate it: Don't buy the new stock offering until you read the prospectus carefully.
  2. a brochure or other document describing the major features, attractions, or services of a place, institution, or business to prospective patrons, clients, owners, or members.

Origin of prospectus

1770–80; < Latin prōspectus outlook, view, equivalent to prōspec-, stem of prōspicere (prō- pro-1 + -spicere, combining form of specere to look) + -tus suffix of v. action Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of prospectus

British Dictionary definitions for prospectus


noun plural -tuses
  1. a formal statement giving details of a forthcoming event, such as the publication of a book or an issue of shares
  2. a pamphlet or brochure giving details of courses, as at a college or school

Word Origin for prospectus

C18: Latin, literally: distant view; see prospect
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 prospectus

1765, from French prospectus (1723) and directly from Latin prospectus "view" (see prospect (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper