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 ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.