Meaning of “prospective” in the English Dictionary

"prospective" in British English

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uk /prəˈspek.tɪv/ us /prəˈspek.tɪv/
prospective buyers, employers, parents, etc.

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C1 people who are expected to buy something, employ someone, become parents, etc.:

We've had three sets of prospective buyers looking at the house.

(Definition of “prospective” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"prospective" in American English

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prospectiveadjective [ not gradable ]

us /prəˈspek·tɪv/

prospective adjective [ not gradable ] (POSSIBILITY)


There were offers from several prospective buyers.

(Definition of “prospective” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"prospective" in Business English

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prospectiveadjective [ before noun ]

uk /prəˈspektɪv/ us
a prospective customer/buyer/candidate, etc.

someone who might become a customer, buyer, etc.:

What is the best way of contacting prospective customers?
One plant has been sold and seven have prospective buyers.
The careers fair gives students a chance to meet prospective employers.
prospective earnings/cost/yield, etc.

the amount that something is expected to earn, cost, produce, etc.:

The study puts the prospective cost of annual repairs and renewals at $10 million.
The shares are trading at 15 times forecast earnings with an attractive prospective yield of 5.2%.

(Definition of “prospective” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)