Definition of prospective in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /prəˈspɛktɪv/


1Expected or expecting to be the specified thing in the future: she showed a prospective buyer around the house
More example sentences
  • You are expected to ask the prospective candidates a technical question to judge their ability.
  • In 1913, when it lay empty, two sisters visited to pose as prospective buyers.
  • But it provided a conversation piece when the estate agent and prospective buyers came round.
1.1Likely to happen at a future date: a meeting to discuss prospective changes in government legislation
More example sentences
  • Clearly, the legislation is prospective, and in future that will be quite possible.
  • Our study was designed as a prospective, randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial.
  • Although prospective in design these studies have methodological flaws.
potential, possible, probable, likely, future, eventual, -to-be, soon-to-be, in the making, destined, intended;
intending, aspiring, would-be;
forthcoming, approaching, coming, imminent;
presumptive, designate



Pronunciation: /prəˈspɛktɪvli/
Example sentences
  • These exemptions will cease prospectively from September 1, 2004.
  • Take away the bragging rights, and all you've got left is wretched traffic jams, booked-up hotels, and a prospectively unpaid bill for a stadium you didn't want.
  • And it must affect investors prospectively, not retrospectively.




Late 16th century (in the sense 'looking forward, having foresight'): from obsolete French prospectif, -ive or late Latin prospectivus, from Latin prospectus 'view' (see prospect).

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.