from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Promptness; readiness; quickness of decision or action when occasion demands; cheerful alacrity.
  • noun Prompting.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality of being prompt; quickness of decision and action when occasion demands; alacrity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The quality of being prompt; alacrity.

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

  • noun the characteristic of doing things without delay


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Late Latin promptitudo, from Latin promptus.


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  • To accomplish his design without delay – for promptitude is the earnest of success – and to avoid a surprise from the English lieutenant at Bothwell (who, hearing of the recontre before the castle, might choose to demand his men's prisoner), Murray determined to take Ker with him; and, disguised as peasants, as soon as darkness should shroud their movements, proceed to Drumshargard.

    The Scottish Chiefs 1875

  • His object was, by promptitude, which is ever the companion of victory, to anticipate the preparations of Nayan, and, by falling upon him while single, destroy his power with more certainty and effect than after he should have been joined by Kaidu.

    The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 06 (From Barbarossa to Dante) John [Editor] Rudd 1885

  • Bladud received his orders in silence, and obeyed them with that unquestioning and unhesitating promptitude which is one of the surest evidences of fitness to command.

    The Hot Swamp 1859

  • "Something in the water," cried Jack Shales, hastily catching up a coil of rope and throwing it overboard with that promptitude which is peculiar to seamen.

    The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands 1859

  • "Look alive, lads!" is the only word uttered, and the helmeted heroes, knowing their work well, go into action with that cool promptitude which is more than half the battle in attacking the most desperate odds or the fiercest foe.

    Life in the Red Brigade London Fire Brigade 1859

  • Legislative Waste John C. Goodman's "How Seniors Will Pay for ObamaCare" (op-ed, Sept. 23) on the unexpected costs of ObamaCare (seniors losing part of their health-insurance benefits here, small businesses burdened with greater regulatory costs there, etc.) reminds me of Alexander Hamilton's dictum: "In the legislature, promptitude of decision is oftener an evil than a benefit."

    Haste Often Means 2010

  • Suffolk is a rich, respectable, and enlightened county, and will answer this appeal, there is no doubt, with ardour and promptitude: and it is hoped, that the example will be followed by all lovers of nature and genius. '

    Letter 302 2009

  • "Have a drink," I said, with promptitude, after the pause which I had learned good form in drinking dictates.

    Chapter 10 2010

  • Next came a promptitude of bellowed orders, and all the watch was slacking away after braces to starboard and pulling on after braces to port.


  • “Now I hope,” he said, “that there will not be the slightest difference of opinion, but the utmost unanimity and promptitude of action in repelling invasion.”

    A Country of Vast Designs Robert W. Merry 2009


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  • The women, so used to cry without grief, as they are to laugh without reason, by mere force of example (confound their promptitudes!) must needs pull out their handkerchiefs.

    Lovelace to Belford, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

    December 17, 2007

  • "...begging him to urge all those concerned to exact promptitude, to give an example himself..."

    —Patrick O'Brian, The Thirteen Gun Salute, 176

    March 4, 2008

  • monitory" letter to Gouveneur Morris'>George Washington in a "monitory" letter to Gouveneur Morris: “'The promptitude, with which your lively and brilliant imagination is displayed, allows too little time for deliberation and correction; and is the primary cause of those sallies, which too often offend, and of that ridicule of characters, which begets enmity not easy to be forgotten, but which might easily be avoided, if it was under the control of more caution and prudence.'”

    -- Richard Brookhiser, “Gentleman Revolutionary”, p129 of the Free Press paperback

    September 11, 2011