follow Dictionary.com

It’s about time. We are now on Instagram!

prospect

[pros-pekt] /ˈprɒs pɛkt/
noun
1.
Usually, prospects.
  1. an apparent probability of advancement, success, profit, etc.
  2. the outlook for the future:
    good business prospects.
2.
anticipation; expectation; a looking forward.
3.
something in view as a source of profit.
4.
a potential or likely customer, client, etc.
5.
a potential or likely candidate.
6.
a view, especially of scenery; scene.
7.
outlook or view over a region or in a particular direction.
8.
a mental view or survey, as of a subject or situation.
9.
Mining.
  1. an apparent indication of ore or native metal.
  2. a place giving such indications.
  3. a mine working or excavation undertaken in a search for additional ore.
10.
Archaic. sight; range of vision.
verb (used with object)
11.
to search or explore (a region), as for gold.
12.
to work (a mine or claim) experimentally in order to test its value.
verb (used without object)
13.
to search or explore a region for gold or the like.
Idioms
14.
in prospect, under consideration; expected; in view:
He had no other alternative in prospect.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English prospecte < Latin prōspectus outlook, view. See prospectus
Related forms
prospectless, adjective
prospector
[pros-pek-ter, pruh-spek-ter] /ˈprɒs pɛk tər, prəˈspɛk tər/ (Show IPA),
noun
nonprospect, noun
underprospect, noun
Synonyms
6, 7. See view. 7, 8. perspective.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for prospecting
  • He governs wit, humor, gem cutting and prospecting, all things that gnomes hold dear.
British Dictionary definitions for prospecting

prospect

noun (ˈprɒspɛkt)
1.
(sometimes pl) a probability or chance for future success, esp as based on present work or aptitude: a good job with prospects
2.
a vision of the future; what is foreseen; expectation: she was excited at the prospect of living in London, unemployment presents a grim prospect
3.
a view or scene, esp one offering an extended outlook
4.
a prospective buyer, project, etc
5.
a survey or observation
6.
(mining)
  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)
7.
when intr, often foll by for. to explore (a region) for gold or other valuable minerals
8.
(transitive) to work (a mine) to discover its profitability
9.
(intransitive) often foll by for. to search (for)
Derived Forms
prospectless, adjective
Word Origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for prospecting

prospect

n.

early 15c., "act of looking into the distance," from Latin prospectus "distant view, look out; sight, faculty of sight," noun use of past participle of prospicere "look out on, look forward," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + specere "look at" (see scope (n.1)). Meaning "extensive view of the landscape" is from 1530s; transferred sense of "mental view or survey" is from 1620s. Sense of "person or thing considered promising" is from 1922. Prospects "expectations, things looked forward to" is from 1660s.

v.

"explore for gold, examine land with a view to a mining claim," 1841, from prospect (n.) in specialized sense of "spot giving prospects of ore" (1832). Earlier in a sense "look forth, look out over" (1550s), from Latin prospectare. Related: Prospected; prospecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for prospecting

search for economically exploitable mineral deposits. Until the 20th century prospecting involved roaming likely areas on foot looking for direct indications of ore mineralization in outcrops, sediments, and soils. Colours have been a traditional guide to ores. The reds, browns, and yellows of limonitic material, for example, can indicate leaching of sulfide-bearing veins and disseminated ore bodies. On weathered outcrops, greens and blues could indicate oxidized copper minerals, black could mean oxidized manganese minerals, and yellows and greens the presence of silver halides.

Learn more about prospecting with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for prospect

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for prospecting

18
23
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with prospecting