Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Being on time; punctual.
  • adj. Carried out or performed without delay: a prompt reply.
  • transitive v. To move to act; spur; incite: A noise prompted the guard to go back and investigate.
  • transitive v. To give rise to; inspire: The accident prompted a review of school safety policy.
  • transitive v. To assist with a reminder; remind.
  • transitive v. To assist (an actor or reciter) by providing the next words of a forgotten passage; cue.
  • n. The act of prompting or giving a cue.
  • n. A reminder or cue.
  • n. Computer Science A symbol that appears on a monitor to indicate that the computer is ready to receive input.
  • n. Business A prompt note.
  • n. Business The time limit stipulated in a prompt note.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Ready, willing (to act).
  • adj. Quick, acting without delay.
  • adj. On time, punctual.
  • n. A reminder or cue
  • n. A symbol that appears on a monitor to indicate that the computer is ready to receive input.
  • n. A suggestion for inspiration given to an author.
  • v. To lead someone toward what they should say or do.
  • v. - to show or tell an actor/person the words they should be saying, or actions they should be doing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Ready and quick to act as occasion demands; meeting requirements readily; not slow, dilatory, or hesitating in decision or action; responding on the instant; immediate; ; -- said of persons.
  • adj. Done or rendered quickly, readily, or immediately; given without delay or hesitation; -- said of conduct.
  • adj. Easy; unobstructed.
  • n. A limit of time given for payment of an account for produce purchased, this limit varying with different goods. See prompt-note.
  • transitive v. To assist or induce the action of; to move to action; to instigate; to incite.
  • transitive v. To suggest; to dictate.
  • transitive v. To remind, as an actor or an orator, of words or topics forgotten.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Ready; quick to act as occasion demands; acting with cheerful alacrity; ready and willing: as, prompt in obedience or compliance.
  • Given or performed without delay; quick; ready; not delayed.
  • Hasty; forward; abrupt.
  • Inclined or disposed.
  • Synonyms Early, timely, punctual.
  • To move or excite to action; incite; instigate.
  • To assist (a learner or speaker) by suggesting something forgotten or imperfectly learned or known, or by pronouncing the words next in order: as, to prompt a pupil; to prompt an actor.
  • To dictate; suggest to the mind; inspire.
  • To remind; put (one) in mind.
  • Synonyms Actuate, Impel, Induce, etc.(see actuate), incline, dispose, suggest to. See list under impel.
  • n. In com., a limit of time given for payment for merchandise purchased, the limit being stated on a note of reminder called a prompt-note.
  • n. Information suggested or prompted.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. according to schedule or without delay; on time
  • n. (computer science) a symbol that appears on the computer screen to indicate that the computer is ready to receive a command
  • adj. ready and willing or quick to act
  • n. a cue given to a performer (usually the beginning of the next line to be spoken)
  • adj. performed with little or no delay
  • v. give an incentive for action
  • v. serve as the inciting cause of
  • v. assist (somebody acting or reciting) by suggesting the next words of something forgotten or imperfectly learned

Etymologies

Middle English, ready, from Old French, from Latin prōmptus, from past participle of prōmere, to bring forth : prō-, forth; see pro- + emere, to take, obtain.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French prompt, from Latin promptus ("visible, apparent, evident, at hand, prepated, ready, quick, prompt, inclined, disposed"), past participle of promere ("to take or bring out or forth, produce, bring to light"), from pro ("forth, forward") + emere ("to take, acquire, buy"). (Wiktionary)

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