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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 of prospect
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for prospector
Historical Examples
  • “Mind you make it real good,” said the prospector, who stood, watching the operation.

  • Tresco stood down, and the prospector was placed in the box.

  • prospector dropped into camp with fist full of good looking quartz.

    Cabin Fever B. M. Bower
  • Benjamin peered over the tops of his glasses at the prospector.

  • Moonlight had armed himself with a pick, the prospector had grasped a shovel, Tresco drew a revolver from inside his “jumper.”

  • prospector Tomlinson felt I'd said something insulting to him.

    Delilah of the Snows Harold Bindloss
  • Led by the prospector, the great crowd of diggers roared three deafening cheers; and then the two mates shook hands.

  • The prospector put the bag of gold on the table, and taking the photographs and map left the room.

  • The landlord, who was with them, came forward, and bent over the inanimate form of the prospector.

  • Tresco and the prospector were eating their “tucker” beneath the boughs of a spreading black-birch.

British Dictionary definitions for prospector

prospector

/prəˈspɛktə/
noun
1.
a person who searches for the natural occurrence of gold, petroleum, etc

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
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Word Origin and History for prospector
n.

also prospecter, 1846 in the mining sense; agent noun from prospect (v.).

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
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