Definition of prospect in English:



Pronunciation /ˈprɒspɛkt/
  • 1[mass noun] The possibility or likelihood of some future event occurring:

    ‘there was no prospect of a reconciliation’
    [count noun] ‘some training which offered a prospect of continuous employment’
    • ‘What is most worrying for many potential buyers is the prospect of taking on a massive mortgage and becoming trapped by a mountain of debt should anything go wrong.’
    • ‘The company is exploring the prospect of making machine-made pots to meet the demand.’
    • ‘Other workers will view the prospect with horror.’
    • ‘That is how Mr Smith himself put it, although I do not doubt that he did his best to form a view as to the prospects of success in the action.’
    • ‘This time last year investors were happy to lay down a big deposit for the prospect of growth years down the track.’
    • ‘From the point of view of the countryside and farming the prospect was difficult to assess.’
    • ‘Faced with the prospects of losing customers, they will have to provide quality and low-cost power to survive.’
    • ‘Maybe the prospect of the landscape turning into a tourist facility will force a political change in the end.’
    • ‘It painted a rather gloomy view of the employment prospects of current final-year students.’
    • ‘The very fact that information will be collected focuses the mind, but the additional prospect of publication undoubtedly stimulates better performance.’
    • ‘For potential investors, the prospect of enjoying cheap beer is far more appealing.’
    • ‘Not since the Civil War has this nation faced the prospect of seeing its cities and countryside turned into war zones.’
    • ‘And as the chuckles subsided, they pondered over the prospect of their city yielding to the concrete bustle and losing its green sheen.’
    • ‘It is not a prospect which he anticipates with much enthusiasm.’
    • ‘Such is the scepticism with which many view the prospect.’
    • ‘It was thought that large, centralised institutions were needed to stand between the public and the prospect of market failure.’
    • ‘Sadly, the reverse prospect is more likely: that the cuts will remove better teachers from the system and leave it predominantly populated by the ineffective ones.’
    • ‘More than 100 residents evacuated from Edinburgh's Old Town area faced the prospect of spending a second night in emergency accommodation.’
    • ‘Of course there are moments where you are lulled temporarily into a false sensation of hope at the prospect of viewing a quality film.’
    • ‘The prospect of a park road sparked alarm when town redevelopment plans were unveiled last October.’
    coming soon, on the way, in the pipeline, likely to happen, to come, coming up, at hand, close at hand, near at hand, near, imminent, in the offing, in view, in store, on the horizon, in the wings, just around the corner, in the air, in the wind, brewing, upcoming, forthcoming, impending, approaching
    on the cards
    likelihood, hope, expectation, anticipation, good chance, poor chance, chances, odds, probability, possibility, likeliness, promise, lookout
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    1. 1.1[in singular] A mental picture of a future or anticipated event:
      ‘this presents a disturbing prospect of one-party government’
      • ‘Escalating fuel surcharges on airline tickets have added to the uncertainty, raising the prospect of future rises in fares.’
      • ‘It was quite exceptional because it was the first time a technology company was able to go public so early with only the prospect of future profits.’
      • ‘Suddenly however, you are faced with the prospect of a new future.’
      • ‘Every year we respond to numerous phone calls from residents disturbed at the prospect of more loss of koala habitat in their neighbourhood.’
      • ‘But the reality is that women face a multitude of problems when deciding if and when to have a family, despite the prospect of a childless future glaring at them from newspaper headlines.’
      • ‘For a quiet, level-headed lad, who is usually so composed and unflappable on the pitch, the prospect is one that exhilarates.’
      • ‘More care taken might have procured me his sole company, but as it was I had to settle for sharing the evening with his date - a prospect I viewed with distinctly mixed feelings.’
      • ‘It dreads the prospect of a future where more and more wagering ends up with non-fee paying operators ‘leeching’ off racing.’
      • ‘But as the boy reached the age of maturity and the boyhood locks were shorn from his head, she balked at the prospect of yielding the throne to this half-royal heir.’
      • ‘Are they less happy with the prospect of a future in an affluent and peaceful place, like France, than they are in the United Kingdom?’
      • ‘And the deal seemed to give the firm a reasonable prospect of future commercial success.’
      • ‘He said this with no indication of outrage or regret; he didn't rail against the prospect of a posthuman future; he expressed no aversion to life as a pet.’
      • ‘A terrifying and very likely true prospect had fallen upon him.’
      • ‘To look at, the prospect is disturbing yet most intriguing.’
      • ‘For example, it would clearly be unsatisfactory if the prospect of some future challenge caused public development schemes to be suspended or delayed on a prolonged basis.’
      • ‘The prospect of playing county finals yet again in the month of November, and perhaps even in December, seems to be staring us starkly in the face yet again this year.’
      • ‘It was, though, only when our tutor allowed himself a little self-satisfied smile at the prospect of the future triumph of behaviourism that he felt sufficiently moved to speak.’
      • ‘Information technology is currently doing much to change our perceptions, and space technology holds out a prospect of infinite exploration.’
      • ‘No-one, as the clubs' campaign managers are doubtless aware, wants to be accused of disloyalty at a time when the prospect of a stable future and a better team is dangled before them.’
      • ‘Neither of them are out yet, but I'm both excited and slightly disturbed by the prospect of their arrival.’
      vision, thought, idea, contemplation
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    2. 1.2prospects Chances or opportunities for success or wealth:
      ‘the poor prospects for the steel industry’
      • ‘What both discourses have in common is a mechanical view of our economic prospects.’
      • ‘That paragraph has all the hallmarks of the lawyer's craft in playing a card which he or she conceives to strengthen the client's prospects of winning the game.’
      • ‘In many cases, an alternative to a representational model will offer the best prospects for success.’
      • ‘They decided to call in an independent expert to investigate the prospects of the deposit.’
      • ‘On this basis, the prospects of the applicant succeeding in the challenge to his conviction appear to us be very slim.’
      • ‘As academics, doctors, engineers, and small business owners, they had stronger financial prospects in their adopted country.’
      • ‘The last few days showed that the national capital market has good prospects.’
      • ‘Food-for-work schemes have helped some communities to begin the recovery, while the introduction of soil conservation techniques has improved farming prospects in the region.’
      • ‘And she knows the film's box-office prospects are likely to be modest by Hollywood standards.’
      • ‘If the latter is true, there is a chance that new management or new business conditions will prompt a turnaround in prospects and give strong positive returns.’
      • ‘Like a venture-capital firm, it sizes up a client's prospects diligently before providing help.’
      • ‘We will point to the properties on offer, assess the long-term prospects and highlight potential pitfalls.’
      • ‘The current mix of economic and political upheaval has had a profound and disturbing impact on future prospects in the region.’
      • ‘With poor mineral resources, its prospects as an independent, viable country were secured by the invention of refrigeration.’
      • ‘Their economic importance is also moderate, but given their population sizes and growth prospects, the economic potential of the applicants is substantial.’
      • ‘The finality of death of a young man with glowing prospects for success is a shattering blow indeed.’
      • ‘The differences are obtained concerning the traits more indirectly related to material prospects of a potential mate, and to his readiness to share resources as well.’
      • ‘By aligning the owners' aspirations with those of their emerging management team, the prospects of future success are greatly increased.’
      • ‘The two have duelled for domination in central Europe, seeking to capitalise on strong growth prospects and European Union entry from next year.’
      • ‘Are you prepared to take a view of the prospects of a business?’
      possibilities, potential, promise, expectations, outlook, future, scope
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  • 2A person regarded as likely to succeed or as a potential customer, client, etc.:

    ‘Norwich's unbeaten heavyweight prospect’
    ‘clients deemed likely prospects for active party membership’
    • ‘Proper attention to detail increases your chances of leaving a wonderful impression that turns prospects into customers and keeps them coming back for more.’
    • ‘Rivals ranks all levels of prospects by state, position and region and keeps track of commitments received by each school.’
    • ‘The idea would be that a company links to its customers and potential prospects.’
    • ‘Your main objective in following up with a phone call or visit is to get clients and prospects to talk.’
    • ‘Another excellent technique is listening to senior sales staff speak to prospects and clients.’
    • ‘And, of course, there is the benefit of having a high volume of customers year round, with the potential of a lot of the hangers reaching potential prospects.’
    • ‘When your firm earns a spot in a specific or general top 100 list, promote the fact to all of the media and more importantly to your customers / prospects.’
    • ‘The shows are very festive with invitations going out to clients and prospects all over Japan.’
    • ‘Around the time, many small business prospects, customers and clients will dwell on cost.’
    • ‘And then there are other people who are good presenters and communicators with clients and prospects.’
    • ‘More than 30 representatives participated in joint calls with prospects and existing clients.’
    • ‘The two largest potential groups of likely prospects for the certificate program include law enforcement officers and nurses.’
    • ‘Let someone use your office for meeting a client or a prospect.’
    • ‘Clients want to show off their logo to customers and prospects to remind them of the quality and care the company brings to the business.’
    • ‘Our training assists professionals in recognizing what their prospects and clients consider to be rude.’
    • ‘We use technologies to slice up insurance industry data and deliver it in interactive graphical format to clients and prospects.’
    • ‘Insight on all of these issues and more can demonstrate to clients and prospects how your agency brain ticks.’
    • ‘This will allow you to focus on hot prospects while testing your marketing message.’
    • ‘The goal here is to work with customers and prospects in a way that demonstrates you are integrating and presenting information in their best interests.’
    • ‘‘As such, make sure that you collect e-mail addresses from your clients and your prospects,’ she advises.’
    candidate, possibility
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  • 3A place likely to yield mineral deposits:

    ‘additional exploration prospects have been identified in this area’
    • ‘These days, there are fewer places to drill, and the best exploration prospects take more capital to tap.’
    • ‘It also has several exploration prospects near existing fields.’
    • ‘He said Government was doing the mapping exercise as a basic way of exploring minerals at various mining prospects.’
  • 4An extensive view of landscape:

    ‘a viewpoint commanding a magnificent prospect of the estuary’
    • ‘In La Puce, the topographical prospects, or views, include the female body as well as the city.’
    • ‘Certain vantages are more than the means of visual control and possession of the land viewed; they themselves become desirable for their commanding prospects.’
    • ‘The other two views take in turn prospects from the east and the west which are altogether more familiar to us.’
    • ‘One of the problems of such a site, however magnificent its prospects, is the Meltemi, the prevailing north-east summer wind of the Aegean.’
    view, vista, outlook, perspective, panorama, aspect, scene
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Pronunciation /prəˈspɛkt/
  • 1 Search for mineral deposits, especially by drilling and excavation:

    ‘the company is also prospecting for gold’
    • ‘The argument that the Russians are successfully prospecting for oil in unlikely places is dubious at best.’
    • ‘Around the same time, the price of gold rose and Hawk took up gold prospecting, living in tents and mining shacks from the southwest to Alaska.’
    • ‘Without the community's consent it would ‘be very difficult to proceed’ with prospecting or mining.’
    • ‘The Rockies are home to several campgrounds, ghost towns, gold prospecting sites, and national parks.’
    • ‘Therefore, significant material and human resources were pressed into gold prospecting and mining.’
    • ‘Surveyors, prospecting for a new railway line between Hamley and Ashcombe, discover Dunster's body and an incriminating knife belonging to Dixon.’
    • ‘The 1995 expedition revisited classic localities, such as Shakh-Shakh, and prospected several new areas.’
    • ‘Colin takes tours for gold prospecting in this area.’
    • ‘He later flew in New Guinea, where he established an airline, prospected for oil, and ran a pearling boat.’
    • ‘Males that had been reared at site A suffered fewer attacks when prospecting at site A than birds originating from other areas.’
    • ‘Following graduation, in 1925, he earned a degree in geological engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 1929 and then prospected for gold in northern California before returning to New York.’
    • ‘The earliest talks on an oil prospecting and extraction agreement between Bulgaria and Libya were held in 1979.’
    • ‘He returned occasionally to South Australia but eventually went back to the west, surveying and prospecting.’
    • ‘On the other hand, imagine how a middle manager in an oil company would respond to emailers complaining about how the company was prospecting for oil and marketing itself.’
    • ‘The measure seeks to transfer the control of mineral rights to the state, and requires companies to apply to the ministry for prospecting and mining rights.’
    • ‘Diamond drilling bits were used in prospecting, and thermal ore processing allowed winter panning in placer mines.’
    • ‘The Siniktarvik Hotel, which also houses one of the few restaurants in the community, has already seen an impact from prospecting.’
    • ‘Almost every NBA team has one or more people prospecting in the statistical mine, and many NFL teams do, too.’
    • ‘None the less, oil prospecting went ahead.’
    inspect, survey, make a survey of, explore, search, scout, reconnoitre, examine, check out
    search, look, seek, hunt, go after, dowse
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    1. 1.1prospect for Search for; seek:
      ‘many charities are prospecting for new donors’
      • ‘The birds prospecting for nesting sites were most attracted to areas where other birds had large broods of robust infants.’


Late Middle English (as a noun denoting the action of looking towards a distant object): from Latin prospectus view, from prospicere look forward, from pro- forward + specere to look. Early use, referring to a view of landscape, gave rise to the meaning ‘mental picture’ (mid 16th century), whence ‘anticipated event’.