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The Oxford Thesaurus - An A-Z Dictionary Of Synonyms

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the horizon, in store, in the wind, projected, in store, likely, probable, possible, Brit on the cards, on the table, US in the cards: As a doctor, he has a number of opportunities in prospect.

--v. 5 Often, prospect for. explore, search (for), look (for): In 1896, his grandfather went to the Klondike to prospect for gold.


adj. anticipated, expected, awaited, looked-for, future, forthcoming, coming, approaching, imminent, nearing, pending, impending, destined, potential, incipient: Jane's prospective wedding had excited the entire family.


n. announcement, plan, scheme, programme, outline, conspectus, description: According to the prospectus for the fund, the minimum investment is œ1000.

prosper v. flourish, thrive, succeed, fare well, progress, get ahead, grow, develop; profit, gain, become wealthy, grow rich, make one's fortune, make good, Colloq make it, make one's pile: With hard work, thrift, and perseverance, MacIntosh prospered and was soon able to buy the house he wanted.


n. success, (good) fortune, wealth, riches, affluence, money, luxury, plenty, prosperousness, opulence, bounty, Colloq life of Riley: The basis of the family's prosperity was huge land holdings in Australia.


adj. 1 rich, wealthy, moneyed or monied, affluent, well-to-do, well off, Colloq well-heeled, loaded, flush, in the money, rolling in it or wealth or money, in clover, on Easy Street,

Slang stinking rich: Anyone who owns six houses and four yachts must be prosperous. 2 successful, thriving, flourishing,

booming, prospering: Frank owns a prosperous chain of video shops.


n. 1 whore, call-girl, streetwalker, strumpet, trollop, harlot,

lady of the night or US also evening, fallen or loose woman, demi-mondaine, cocotte, fille de joie, painted woman, woman of ill repute, camp-follower, Archaic catamite, Literary hetaera or hetaira, courtesan or courtezan, Brit rent-boy, toy boy, US boy toy, Archaic bawd, quean, trull, cotquean, Colloq tart, hustler, Slang pro, moll, Brit brass, hooker, US bimbo, working girl, chippy or chippie, roundheels: There was a terrible scandal when the MP was found to have consorted with prostitutes.

--v. 2 Often, prostitute oneself. degrade, demean, lower, cheapen, debase, profane, defile, desecrate, pervert, abuse, misuse, devalue, Colloq sell out: To ward off starvation, he prostituted his talent by drawing comic strips.


n. 1 whoredom, harlotry, the oldest profession, Mrs Warren's profession, streetwalking, vice: They argued strongly against the legalization of prostitution, saying that it would lead to a decline in public morals. 2 degradation, debasement, profanation, defilement, desecration, misuse, abuse, devaluation, lowering, perversion, corruption: Don't you regard pornography as a prostitution of the principle of freedom of expression?

prostrate v. 1 Usually, prostrate oneself. lie down, kowtow, bow (down), bow and scrape, grovel, kneel, fall to or on one's knees,

truckle, crawl, cringe, submit, abase oneself: The captives were forced to prostrate themselves before the emperor. 2 overwhelm, overcome, overpower, crush, lay or bring low, paralyse, fell, bowl over, floor, bring down, humble, make helpless, ruin; exhaust, fatigue, weary, wear down or out, tire (out): They were prostrated by grief at the loss of their son. Having been prostrated for months by glandular fever, she finally recovered and returned to work.

--adj. 3 prone, horizontal, lying down, laid low, stretched out, procumbent, recumbent, Formal or technical accumbent, decumbent: The prostrate bodies of the worshippers in their multicoloured garb resembled a huge patchwork quilt. 4

overwhelmed, overcome, overpowered, crushed, brought or laid low, paralysed, felled, bowled over, brought down, humbled, helpless, ruined, brought to one's knees, powerless, impotent, defenceless, disarmed, Colloq floored: She was prostrate at the

news of the car crash. After the long war, the countries were struggling to revitalize their prostrate economies. 5 exhausted, drained, fatigued, spent, worn out, wearied, weary, tired (out), dead tired, dog-tired, played out, Colloq fagged out, knocked out, all in, beat, bushed, US wiped out, Slang shagged out, US and Canadian pooped (out): We were prostrate after the long climb.


n. 1 genuflection or Brit also genuflexion, kowtowing, kowtow, kneeling, bowing, bow, salaaming, salaam, submission: Prostration before a superior was a mark of honour. 2

servility, veneration, worship, humiliation, respect, adulation, deference, obeisance, homage: Their silence betokened the profound prostration they felt before her superior intellect. 3 despair, misery, desolation, desperation, dejection, depression, despondency, wretchedness, unhappiness, grief, woe, woefulness: Years of poverty created in him a spiritual prostration from which he never recovered. 4 weariness, exhaustion, weakness, debility, feebleness, enervation, lassitude, paralysis,

collapse, breakdown: The diagnosis was nervous prostration and the treatment was bed rest for a week or more.


n. 1 hero, heroine, anti-hero, anti-heroine, principal, leading character; lead, leading role, title role: Mother was always the protagonist in our little domestic dramas. 2 leader, supporter, advocate, backer, prime mover, moving spirit,

champion, mainstay, standard-bearer, exponent: He is considered the chief protagonist of reformist policies in the party.

protean adj. variable, ever-changing, multiform, variable, mutable, changeable, labile, polymorphous or polymorphic, kaleidoscopic: The magic ring gave him protean powers to appear now as an eagle, now as a serpent.

protect v. 1 defend, guard, safeguard, keep safe, shield, cover, screen: Company rules require the wearing of safety goggles to protect the eyes when operating any machine. 2 care for, preserve, keep, shelter, watch over, safeguard, take care of, conserve, take under one's wing, foster, nurture, tend, mind: The best way of protecting wildlife is to conserve natural habitats.


n. 1 defence, screen, shield, barrier, guard, safeguard, immunity, bulwark, buffer, shelter, refuge, haven, sanctuary, security, safe keeping, safety, preservation: They have not yet

developed any protection from the common cold. How can we offer these fledglings protection against predators? 2 care,

guardianship, aegis, custody, charge, safe keeping, patronage, sponsorship, keeping: Even under the protection of the government, elephants continue to be slaughtered. 3 extortion, blackmail, protection money: If we refuse to pay protection, they say that they will bomb the restaurant.


adj. defensive, jealous, vigilant, watchful, heedful, careful, possessive; preservative, shielding, sheltering, safeguarding: She is fiercely protective of her independence and will not accept help. Many animals rely on protective colouring as a defence against predators.

protector n. protectress, defender, benefactor, benefactress, patron, patroness, guardian (angel), champion, knight in shining armour, paladin, bodyguard, Slang Brit minder: She came to regard him as her friend and protector.

prot‚g‚ n. prot‚g‚e, ward, charge, dependant; discovery, student, pupil: He became her prot‚g‚ and she has taught him everything he knows.

protest n. 1 objection, opposition, complaint, grumble, grievance, dissent, disapproval, protestation, exception, disagreement, demur or demurral, demurrer, disclaimer, denial, scruple,

compunction, qualm, Colloq gripe, grouse, squawk, US kick, Slang beef, bitch: The Home Office has received many protests about the treatment of prisoners. 2 under protest. unwillingly, reluctantly, involuntarily: I paid the fine under protest.

--v. 3 object, oppose, complain, grumble, dissent, disapprove, take exception, take issue with, disagree, demur, disclaim, deny, scruple, Colloq gripe, grouse, squawk, Brit kick

(against), US kick, Slang beef, bitch: Bank employees protested at being expected to work on Saturday mornings. 4 assert, confirm, declare, aver, asseverate, affirm, announce, profess,

insist on, avow, avouch: The convicted man went to the gallows protesting his innocence.

protocol n. 1 rule(s) or code(s) or standard(s) of behaviour or conduct, convention(s), custom(s), diplomacy, formality, formalities, form, etiquette, politesse, manners, practice, usage, authority: According to protocol, the lady stands at the right of the gentleman. Which protocol are you following, the British or the French? 2 treaty, pact, compact, covenant, agreement, concordat; memorandum, minute, note, draft, outline: The original protocol must be checked before the ministers attach their signatures.

prototype n. 1 model, archetype, first, original, pattern, exemplar, precedent, mould: Many improvements were made as a result of tests on the original prototype. 2 example, instance,

illustration, sample, norm, paragon, epitome, model, standard, analogue, referent, metaphor: Mrs Grundy is a common prototype for narrow-mindedness and prudishness.


adj. long, long-drawn-out, interminable, prolonged, over-long, never-ending, extended, stretched out, marathon, endless, everlasting, long-winded: The protracted union negotiations delayed the start of the work by six months.

protrude v. stick out, jut (out), project, extend, poke out, stand out, thrust out or forward, start (from), exsert, Rare extrude; bulge, balloon, bag (out), belly (out); (of the eyes) pop, goggle, Colloq US bug (out): Only the very tops of the plants protruded from the snow.


n. projection, protuberance, prominence, swelling, excrescence, tumescence, bump, lump, knob, bulge; (condition of the eyes) Technical exophthalmic goitre: I can feel the slight protrusion of the nail-heads above the smooth surface.


adj. protrusive, protruding, bulging, gibbous, jutting,

bulbous, swelling, swollen, turgid, tumescent, distended, tumid, extrusive, excrescent, extruding, projecting, beetling, overhanging, prominent: She has large brown eyes that are a little protuberant.


adj. 1 Often, proud of. pleased (with), satisfied (with),


contented (with), glad (about), happy (with or about), delighted


(with or about), elated (with or about); honoured, gratified:


He is very proud of his children and what they have achieved. I


am proud to be your friend. 2 conceited, boastful,


self-satisfied, narcissistic, self-important, egotistical, vain,


vainglorious, prideful, self-centred, complacent, snobbish,


haughty, supercilious, smug, arrogant, cocky, cocksure,


boastful, braggart, Colloq high and mighty, snooty, stuck-up,


Slang snotty, Brit toffee-nosed: She's far too proud to have


anything to do with the likes of us. 3 lofty, dignified,


lordly, noble, great, respected, honoured, honourable,


important, glorious, august, illustrious, estimable, creditable,


eminent, prominent, distinguished, reputable, worthy, notable,


noted, noteworthy: His will always be a proud name in British


military history. 4 stately, majestic, magnificent, splendid,


grand: Proud Edinburgh earned the sobriquet, 'Athens of the




v. 1 verify, authenticate, confirm, make good, corroborate,


demonstrate, show, validate, establish, substantiate, certify,


affirm; support, sustain, back (up), uphold: Prove that he lied


under oath, and we shall have him for perjury. If you cannot


prove her guilt, she must be presumed innocent. 2 try, test,


examine, check, analyse, assay: Division can easily be proved


by multiplication, and vice versa. The proving ground for


military vehicles is off limits to the public. Come live with


me and be my love, And we shall all the pleasures prove. 3 turn


out, be found, be shown, be established, end up; develop,


result: The child proved to be his long-lost grandson. 4 show,


evince, demonstrate: He proved his love many times over during


their fifty years of marriage.

provender n. 1 provisions, food, supplies, victuals, rations, foodstuffs, groceries, eatables, edibles, comestibles, aliment, nourishment, sustenance, Colloq grub, eats: The armies relied for their provender on farms they passed on the march. 2 fodder, forage, feed, hay, silage, corn, grain: Provender for the livestock was running low because of the long winter.

proverb n. saying, maxim, aphorism, saw, adage, apophthegm or apothegm, axiom, moral, moralism, homily, dictum, gnome, epigram,

commonplace, platitude, truism, clich‚, bromide: According to the old proverb, 'A fool and his money are soon parted'.


adj. 1 axiomatic, aphoristic, epigrammatic, apophthegmatic or apothegmatic, homiletic, moralistic; acknowledged, well-known, accepted, time-honoured, traditional: The language is full of proverbial sayings reflecting popular wisdom. 2 typical, archetypal, exemplary: The humanitarianism of Albert Schweitzer is proverbial.

provide v. 1 supply, furnish, equip, outfit, fix up (with) provision, contribute, accommodate, purvey, cater, stock (up), victual, provender: After providing us with a map and a compass, they sent us off across the moor. 2 produce, yield, afford, lend, give, present, offer, accord: The fertile land provided food in plentiful abundance. During those bleak years, the radio provided us not only with news but also entertainment. 3 stipulate, lay down, require, demand, specify, state: The lease provided that the rent be reviewed every five years. 4 provide for. look after, care for, support, take care of, take under

one's wing, minister to, attend (to): The bequest ensured that his widow would be amply provided for. 5 provide for or against. arrange for, prepare for, anticipate, forearm, make or get ready for, plan for, take precautions, take measures: It would seem that you have provided for any eventuality.


n. 1 foresight, forethought, preparation, anticipation, readiness, far-sightedness, caution, precaution, discretion, prudence, care; thrift, frugality, husbandry, thriftiness, conservation, economy: Because of the providence of our founders, we were able to weather severe financial set backs. 2 Usually, (divine) Providence. protection, care, concern, beneficence, direction, control, divine intervention, guidance; destiny, fate, lot, fortune, karma, kismet: Providence is always on the side of those who help themselves.

provident adj. 1 cautious, wary, discreet, canny, prudent, careful, vigilant, prepared, far-sighted, thoughtful, wise, shrewd, sagacious, sage, judicious: In the fable, the grasshopper learns from the ant what it means to be provident. 2 frugal, economic(al), thrifty, prudent: Because he is not a provident

man, he will always be poor.


adj. fortunate, lucky, blessed, felicitous, happy, opportune, timely: It is providential that we left the house just before the earthquake.

providing conj. Sometimes, providing that. provided (that), on (the) condition (that), if (only), only if, as long as, in the event (that), with the proviso (that), in case, with the understanding (that): Simon is always ready to go out to dinner, providing someone else pays for it.

province n. 1 territory, state, zone, region, quarter, area, district, domain, dependency or US also dependancy, division, section, district: Quebec is one of the administrative provinces of Canada. 2 country, territory, region, dominion, realm, strand, tract: During the war, those who escaped fled to distant provinces. 3 sphere or area (of responsibility),

responsibility, bailiwick, concern, function, charge, business, field; Colloq thing, headache, worry: The payroll falls within the province of my department. 4 provinces. outlying districts, countryside, hinterland(s), Chiefly US exurbia, Slang US and Canadian boondocks, boonies, hicksville: Once a year, people flock into London from the provinces to do their Christmas shopping.


adj. 1 local, regional: Provincial administration is the responsibility of the sheriff. 2 uncultured, uncultivated, unsophisticated, limited, uninformed, na‹ve, innocent, ingenuous, unpolished, unrefined, homespun, rustic, rude, country, parochial, insular, narrow-minded, boorish, loutish, cloddish, awkward, ungraceful, oafish, backwood(s), Brit parish pump, US small-town, Colloq US and Canadian hick, hick-town: These paintings are unlikely to appeal to provincial tastes.

--n. 3 rustic, country cousin, (country) bumpkin, yokel, US and Canadian out-of-towner, hick, hayseed: One could tell they were provincials by the cut of their clothes.


n. 1 dialectalism, localism, regionalism; idiom, patois,

dialect: His northern speech is peppered with provincialisms unfamiliar to those who live in the south. 2 narrow-mindedness, insularity, parochialism, narrowness, benightedness; unsophisticatedness, simplicity, lack of awareness, na‹vety, ingenuousness, innocence, inexperience: Their provincialism made them suspicious of city people. There was something charming about the provincialism of this rough man from the outback.

provision n. 1 providing, supplying, furnishing; catering, victualling, provisioning, purveyance, purveying, furnishing, equipping, fitting out, outfitting, accoutrement, equipment: The school is responsible for the provision of textbooks. The provision of a cruise ship of that size requires days. 2 stipulation, proviso, condition, restriction, qualification, clause, term, exception, demand, requirement, prerequisite, Colloq catch, string, US hooker: This provision of the contract calls for a penalty for each day's delay beyond the guaranteed completion date. 3 preparation, prearrangement, arrangement, measures, steps: They had failed to make provision for so many customers and soon ran out of food. 4 Usually, provisions. supplies, stores, stockpile, stock(s), quantity; food, foodstuffs, eatables, edibles,

drinkables, potables, victuals, viands, comestibles, rations, groceries, provender, staples: We had enough provisions to last a year.

--v. 5 stockpile, stock, supply, victual, cater, purvey: They provisioned the expedition for a three-month period.


adj. 1 temporary, interim, provisionary, transitional, stopgap, Colloq pro tem: The provisional government was expected to be in place for less than a month. 2 conditional, contingent, provisory, qualified, stipulatory, provisionary, probationary: The appointment is provisional and will be reviewed in six months.

proviso n. See provision, 2. above.


n. 1 grounds, reason, cause, justification, instigation, initiation, incitement, stimulus, incentive, motivation, motive, inducement: What was the provocation for that unpleasant

outburst? 2 insult, offence, taunt, irritation: After a series

of provocations, the final straw was his remark about my mother.


adj. 1 inviting, alluring, tempting, charming, tantalizing, teasing, intriguing, fascinating, seductive, stimulating, voluptuous, sensual, sensuous, suggestive, erotic, arousing, exciting, entrancing, irresistible, bewitching, Colloq sexy: The council found the film too provocative to be shown to schoolchildren. 2 irritating, annoying, galling, irksome, nettlesome, harassing, plaguing, exasperating, infuriating, angering, incensing, maddening, enraging, vexing, vexatious, disquieting, challenging, upsetting, distressing, disturbing, outrageous, wounding, stinging, offensive, humiliating, mortifying: She is given to making provocative remarks that drive him to distraction.

provoke v. 1 stir (up), stimulate, move, motivate, push, impel, drive, get, spur (on), egg on, goad, force, compel, prompt, rouse, arouse, waken, awaken, enliven, animate, activate, induce, encourage: She did her best to provoke him to start his new novel. 2 start, incite, instigate, produce, promote, foment, kindle, work up: Are you trying to provoke an argument? 3 irritate, annoy, irk, pester, vex, pique, anger, enrage, madden, incense, infuriate, gall, rile, nettle, harass, hector, plague, badger, exasperate, get on one's nerves, try one's patience, frustrate, upset, disturb, perturb, distress, outrage, offend, insult, affront: If he continues to provoke me I shall punch him.

prowess n. 1 ability, skill, skilfulness, aptitude, adroitness, dexterity, dexterousness, adeptness, facility, finesse, expertise, mastery, genius, talent, know-how, ingenuity, capability, proficiency: Her prowess as a sculptor is unquestioned. 2 bravery, valour, courage, boldness, daring, intrepidity, dauntlessness, mettle, stout-heartedness, valiance, lion-heartedness, fearlessness, gallantry, doughtiness, fortitude: He was famed for his prowess in single combat.

prowl v. 1 lurk, sneak, skulk, steal, slink: I thought I saw someone prowling about in your back garden. 2 scour, scavenge, range over, rove, roam, patrol, cruise, cover: The police continued

to prowl the waterfront looking for smugglers.

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