What does prompt mean?

Definitions for prompt

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word prompt.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prompt, promptingnoun

    a cue given to a performer (usually the beginning of the next line to be spoken)

    "the audience could hear his prompting"

  2. prompt, command promptadjective

    (computer science) a symbol that appears on the computer screen to indicate that the computer is ready to receive a command

  3. promptadjective

    according to schedule or without delay; on time

    "the train is prompt"

  4. promptadjective

    ready and willing or quick to act

    "she is always prompt to help her friends";

  5. immediate, prompt, quick, straightawayverb

    performed with little or no delay

    "an immediate reply to my letter"; "a prompt reply"; "was quick to respond"; "a straightaway denial"

  6. motivate, actuate, propel, move, prompt, inciteverb

    give an incentive for action

    "This moved me to sacrifice my career"

  7. prompt, inspire, instigateverb

    serve as the inciting cause of

    "She prompted me to call my relatives"

  8. prompt, remind, cueverb

    assist (somebody acting or reciting) by suggesting the next words of something forgotten or imperfectly learned


  1. promptnoun

    Something that indicates when or where a response is appropriate.

    I filled in my name where the prompt appeared on the computer screen but my account wasn't recognized.

  2. promptnoun

    A suggestion for inspiration given to an author.

  3. promptverb

    To lead someone toward what they should say or do.

    I prompted him to get a new job.

  4. promptverb

    - to show or tell an actor/person the words they should be saying, or actions they should be doing.

    If he forgets his words I will prompt him.

  5. promptadjective

    Ready, willing (to act).

  6. promptadjective

    Quick, acting without delay.

    He was very prompt at getting a new job.

  7. promptadjective

    On time, punctual.

    Be prompt for your appointment.

  8. Etymology: From prompt, from promptus, past participle of, from +.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PROMPTadjective

    Etymology: prompt, Fr. promptus, Lat.

    The reception of light into the body of the building was very prompt, both from without and from within. Henry Wotton.

    Very discerning and prompt in giving orders, as occasions required. Edward Hyde.

    Prompt eloquence
    Flow’d from their lips, in prose or numerous verse. John Milton.

    To the stern sanction of th’ offended sky,
    My prompt obedience bows. Alexander Pope.

    I was too hasty to condemn unheard;
    And you, perhaps, too prompt in your replies. Dryden.

    Tell him, I’m prompt
    To lay my crown at’s feet, and there to kneel. William Shakespeare.

    The brazen age,
    A warlike offspring, prompt to bloody rage. Dryden.

    Still arose some rebel slave,
    Prompter to sink the state, than he to save. Matthew Prior.

  2. To Promptverb

    Etymology: prontare, Italian.

    Sitting in some place, where no man shall prompt him, let the child translate his lesson. Roger Ascham.

    You’ve put me now to such a part, which never
    I shall discharge to th’ life.
    —— Come, come, we’ll prompt you. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    My voice shall sound as you do prompt mine ear,
    And I will stoop and humble my intents
    To your well practis’d wise directions. William Shakespeare.

    None could hold the book so well to prompt and instruct this stage play, as she could. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

    He needed not one to prompt him, because he could say the prayers by heart. Edward Stillingfleet.

    Every one some time or other dreams he is reading books, in which case the invention prompts so readily, that the mind is imposed on. Addison.

    Grace shines around her with serenest beams,
    And whisp’ring angels prompt her golden dreams. Alexander Pope.

    The Volscians stand
    Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road
    Upon’s again. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Speak not by th’ matter
    Which your heart prompts you to, but with such words
    But rooted in your tongue. William Shakespeare.

    If they prompt us to anger, their design makes use of it to a further end, that the mind, being thus disquieted, may not be easily composed to prayer. Brian Duppa.

    Rage prompted them at length and found them arms. John Milton.

    Kind occasion prompts their warm desires. Alexander Pope.

    The inconcealable imperfections of ourselves will hourly prompt us our corruption, and loudly tell us we are sons of earth. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.


  1. prompt

    A prompt is a signal or instruction that initiates or guides an action or response. It can be a word, phrase, symbol, or any other indicator used in various contexts such as in writing, computers, psychology, or testing as a cue or a hint to spur a particular action or reaction.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Promptnoun

    a limit of time given for payment of an account for produce purchased, this limit varying with different goods. See Prompt-note

  2. Promptverb

    to assist or induce the action of; to move to action; to instigate; to incite

  3. Promptverb

    to suggest; to dictate

  4. Promptverb

    to remind, as an actor or an orator, of words or topics forgotten


  1. Prompt

    The prompt in a theatre is traditionally the person who prompts or cues actors when they forget their lines or neglect to move on the stage to where they are supposed to be situated. Nowadays, many of the earlier duties of the prompter are undertaken by the stage manager, who will have a copy of the script called the prompt book. This is the most definitive version of the script for any one performance, and will contain details of all cues, with their precise timings with respect to the action on stage. This allows the prompt to direct lighting, sound, flying effects and scene changes during a show. The prompt book also often contains blocking notes, so that the prompt is always aware of the intended positions and movements of all the actors on stage at any given time. In professional and most high-quality community theatre productions, the prompt is never used during a performance to instruct actors if they forget a line or movement, only during a rehearsal. If prompting is absolutely necessary, it can be done very quietly by another actor on-stage. The prompt is located on the stage, in the prompt corner or "prompt side." In Elizabethan theatre the function of prompting was filled by the Book-Holder, who was also in charge of props and calls.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Prompt

    promt, adj. prepared: ready and willing: acting with alacrity: cheerful: unhesitating: (obs.) inclined, disposed.—v.t. to incite: to move to action: to assist a speaker when at a loss for words: to suggest to the mind.—n. a limit of time given for payment for merchandise purchased, the limit being stated on the prompt-note, the note of reminder.—ns. Prompt′-book, a copy of a play arranged for the prompter's use; Prompt′er; Prompt′ing, the act of prompting or suggesting: that which is prompted or suggested; Prompt′itūde, promptness: readiness: willingness: quickness of decision and action.—adv. Prompt′ly.—ns. Prompt′ness; Prompt′ūary, a magazine, repository, a handbook; Prompt′ūre (Shak.), suggestion: instigation. [Fr.,—L. promptusprōmĕre, to bring forward—pro, forth, emĕre, to bring.]

Suggested Resources

  1. prompt

    Song lyrics by prompt -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by prompt on the Lyrics.com website.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prompt' in Verbs Frequency: #671

How to pronounce prompt?

How to say prompt in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of prompt in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of prompt in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of prompt in a Sentence

  1. Ibrahim Hooper:

    We thank local law enforcement officials for their prompt and professional response to this disturbing incident, which is apparently another example of the growing Islamophobia targeting American Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim.

  2. Bob Bauer:

    At the outset of this matter, the President directed his personal attorneys to fully cooperate with the Department of Justice, accordingly, having previously identified and reported to DOJ a small number of documents with classification markings at the President’s Wilmington home, and in the interest of moving the process forward as expeditiously as possible, we offered to provide prompt access to his home to allow DOJ to conduct a search of the entire premises for potential vice-presidential records and potential classified material.

  3. Annabel Fiddes:

    The persistently weak performance of manufacturers combined with a slowdown in the service sector is likely to prompt the authorities to introduce further stimulus measures to ensure growth momentum improves in the second half of the year and to reach the GDP growth target of around 7 percent.

  4. Paul Ryan:

    I look forward to the prompt completion of the intelligence committee's oversight work in this area now that they are getting the cooperation necessary for them to complete their work while protecting sources and methods.

  5. Bonnie Glaser of the Center:

    I think this is quite a dangerous situation, there could be firing by the North Koreans, which then could prompt South Koreans to retaliate very quickly.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for prompt

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for prompt »


Find a translation for the prompt definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"prompt." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/prompt>.

Discuss these prompt definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for prompt? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
    A cleave
    B transpire
    C elaborate
    D affront

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for prompt: