Word of the Day: prompt

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Word of the Day
February 5, 2016
prompt (adjective, verb, noun) sound LISTEN icon
Please be prompt for the 9am meeting!

As an adjective, prompt means 'quickly and without delay' or 'punctual.' As a verb, it means 'to cause a response' or 'to encourage someone to take action.'

Example sentences

  • My boss needed an answer urgently and I gave him a prompt reply.
  • The delivery was prompt and the article was in perfect condition.
  • The election result prompted some disturbances outside Congress.
  • An eight-hour traffic jam prompted me to sell my car and start traveling by train.
Words often used with prompt
prompt card: a card used to elicit a particular response, start a conversation on a subject, or give ideas for written texts; they are often used when teaching languages. Example: "The teacher created prompt cards to help us start our essay about the book we read. Mine said 'Talk about your favorite part of the book. Why was it your favorite?'"
Additional information
Prompt has specific uses in theater. It means 'to remind an actor or actress of a line that he or she has forgotten.' As a noun, a prompt is the line, or cue, that's been given to them and the prompter is the person that sits on the side of the stage and helps the actors when they forget their lines.
Other forms
promptly (adverb), promptness (noun)
Prompt dates back to the first half of the 14th century and comes from the Medieval Latin word prōmptāre, meaning 'to incite,' which, in turn, comes from the Latin word promptus, meaning 'ready or prompt.'
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