General English



  • A symbol or message which is displayed on a monitor, especially that of a computer, indicating that input is awaited, and when provided will be entered there.

Information & Library Science

  • adjective done on time, without delay
  • noun a symbol on a computer screen to remind the user to do something


  • verb to tell someone what to say


  • noun information or an idea offered to people to help them answer a question in a survey
  • verb to give someone help in answering a question

Origin & History of “prompt”

Latin prōmere meant ‘bring out, show’ (it was a compound verb formed from the prefix prō- ‘forward, forth’ and emere ‘take’, source also of English assume (15th c.), example, exempt, peremptory (16th c.), redeem, and sample). Its past participle was promptus, and this was used as an adjective in which the notion of ‘shown, manifest’ evolved via ‘ready at hand, available’ to ‘quick, punctual’ – whence English prompt. In Spanish, Latin promptus became pronto, which was borrowed into English in the mid-19th century.