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pros·pect / ˈpräsˌpekt/ • n. 1. the possibility or likelihood of some future event occurring: there was no prospect of a reconciliation| training that offered a prospect of continuous employment. ∎  [in sing.] a mental picture of a future or anticipated event: this presents a disturbing prospect of one-party government. ∎  (usu. prospects) chances or opportunities for success or wealth: the poor prospects for the steel industry.2. a person regarded as a potential customer or subscriber to something: clients deemed likely prospects for active party membership. ∎  a person regarded as likely to succeed, esp. in a sporting event: a great young pitching prospect. ∎  a place likely to yield mineral deposits. ∎  a place being explored for mineral deposits.3. an extensive view of landscape: a viewpoint commanding a magnificent prospect of the estuary.• v. [intr.] search for mineral deposits in a place, esp. by means of experimental drilling and excavation: the company is also prospecting for gold. ∎  (prospect for) fig. look out for; search for: the responsibilities of salespeople to prospect for customers.DERIVATIVES: pros·pec·tor n.ORIGIN: late Middle English (as a noun denoting the action of looking toward a distant object): from Latin prospectus ‘view,’ from prospicere ‘look forward,’ from pro- ‘forward’ + specere ‘to look.’ Early use, referring to a view of landscape, gave rise to the meaning ‘mental picture’ (mid 16th cent.), whence ‘anticipated event.’