adj. prompt·er, prompt·est
1. Being on time; punctual.
2. Carried out or performed without delay: a prompt reply.
tr.v. prompt·ed, prompt·ing, prompts
1. To move to act; spur; incite: A noise prompted the guard to go back and investigate.
2. To give rise to; inspire: The accident prompted a review of school safety policy.
3. To assist with a reminder; remind.
4. To assist (an actor or reciter) by providing the next words of a forgotten passage; cue.
a. The act of prompting or giving a cue.
b. A reminder or cue.
2. Computers A symbol that appears on a monitor to indicate that the computer is ready to receive input.
3. Something which inspires a response, especially a statement or series of questions designed to provoke creative or critical thought from a student: In English class today, the teacher gave us the prompt for our final essay.
[Middle English, ready, from Old French, from Latin prōmptus, from past participle of prōmere, to bring forth : prō-, forth; see PRO-1 + emere, to take, obtain; see em- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
prompti·tude′ (prŏmptĭ-td′, -tyd′), promptness (prŏmptnĭs) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.