Definition of prompt in English:

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Pronunciation: /präm(p)t/


[with object]
1(Of an event or fact) cause or bring about (an action or feeling): his death has prompted an industry-wide investigation of safety violations
More example sentences
  • This may have been prompted by the fact that I have a job interview on Thursday.
  • The study has been prompted by the fact the number of retests has more than doubled since 1999.
  • The contract prohibits layoffs unless prompted by events beyond the company's control.
give rise to, bring about, cause, occasion, result in, lead to, elicit, produce, bring on, engender, induce, precipitate, trigger, spark off, provoke
1.1Cause (someone) to take a course of action: a demonstration by 20,000 people prompted the government to step up security
More example sentences
  • Of course, they could be prompted to write in response to emotions on a biochemical rather than conscious level.
  • Winslow's instincts prompted her to change course three years ago to pursue her dream of becoming an author.
  • That would of course prompt him to talk about the park yesterday.
induce, make, move, motivate, lead, dispose, persuade, incline, encourage, stimulate, prod, impel, spur on, inspire
2Assist or encourage (a hesitating speaker) to say something: [with direct speech]: “And the picture?” he prompted
More example sentences
  • Mistakenly believing that he needs encouragement, I prompt: ‘does it make you happy to write?’
  • It must be nearly thirty years since I have read it but I could almost quote it as soon as the first line prompted me.
  • The elder daughter silently mouths the word to prompt her sister.
remind, cue, feed, help out;
jog someone's memory
2.1Supply a forgotten word or line to (an actor) during the performance of a play.
Example sentences
  • Not only are there no other performers to distract the audience, there is no handy support mechanism to prompt a line.
  • Considering that each has no other actor to prompt them, they do a remarkable job.
  • Yes, and we had to keep prompting her with her lines and said most of them ourselves.
2.2 Computing (Of a computer) request input from (a user).
Example sentences
  • When prompted for a password, be sure to write it down.
  • You can't shop, bank or read many newspapers online without being prompted for a password.
  • You will be prompted for your password, and the file should copy to the current directory.


1An act of assisting or encouraging a hesitating speaker: with barely a prompt, Barbara talked on
More example sentences
  • I sat here and said ‘Aye’ in response to Mr Speaker's prompts.
  • Practise active, reflective listening - listen carefully, repeat what you've heard to make sure you understand and give positive prompts to encourage your child to continue.
  • Scott's own contribution to the evening seems to have been limited to a whispered prompt.
1.1The word or phrase spoken as a reminder to an actor of a forgotten word or line.
Example sentences
  • Phil stormed onto the stage, pulled the ear piece from Gary's ear and demanded that he do his trick without the aid of offstage prompts.
  • While the other performers continued mouthing their parts to give the impression that a technical fault had occurred, the culprit was given a prompt.
reminder, cue, feed
1.2 Computing A message or symbol on a screen to show that the system is waiting for input.
Example sentences
  • Note that Windows, except at the DOS command prompt, supports forward slashes in all file paths.
  • A display manager provides a graphical login prompt for the user.
  • Delete the existing DOS partition by following the prompts on screen.
1.3 another term for prompter.
2The time limit for the payment of an account, as stated on a prompt note.


1Done without delay; immediate: the owner would have died but for the prompt action of two paramedics
More example sentences
  • The day I brought Band-Aids, a large number of animals suddenly needed prompt attention.
  • I must commend the RTA for a prompt reply to my letter, and their immediate attention to this dangerous situation.
  • The instantaneous nature of the net then provokes a prompt response.
quick, swift, rapid, speedy, fast, direct, immediate, instant, expeditious, early, punctual, in good time, on time, timely
1.1(Of a person) acting without delay: the fans were prompt and courteous in complying with police requests
More example sentences
  • I am, generally, a prompt person and I'm giving you ample notice.
  • The doctors and staff were very prompt in checking me out and were not sure whether I was having a severe angina attack or a mild heart attack.
  • I called the police and they were very prompt but they didn't catch him.
1.2(Of goods) for immediate delivery and payment.



Pronunciation: /ˈpräm(p)təˌt(y)o͞od/
Example sentences
  • The web writer jumps from stone to stone in this giddy lake, with his/her own feverish promptitude being the singular millstone.
  • With customary promptitude and precision our historian completed his task.
  • I reached the pit with a swift promptitude and charged back with even quicker speed.


Pronunciation: /ˈprämp(t)nəs/
Example sentences
  • My self-righteousness faded immediately, for the principal replied with astonishing promptness and courtesy.
  • As part of this contract, orders for NHS medicines are dispensed for patients on demand with reasonable promptness.
  • The promptness of the administration when it comes to demolishing our houses and arresting us is admirable.


Middle English (as a verb): based on Old French prompt or Latin promptus 'brought to light', also 'prepared, ready', past participle of promere 'to produce', from pro- 'out, forth' + emere 'take'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: prompt

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