Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Prolification noun [ Confer French prolification , Late Latin prolificatio .]


1. The generation of young.

2. (Botany) Reproduction by the growth of a plant, or part of a plant, directly from an older one, or by gemmæ.

Prolificness noun The quality or state of being prolific; fruitfulness; prolificacy.

Prolix adjective [ Latin prolixus extended, long, prolix, probably from pro before, forward + liqui to flow, akin to liquidus liquid; confer OL. lixa water: confer French prolixe . See Liquid .]


1. Extending to a great length; unnecessarily long; minute in narration or argument; excessively particular in detail; -- rarely used except with reference to discourse written or spoken; as, a prolix oration; a prolix poem; a prolix sermon.

With wig prolix , down flowing to his waist.
Cowper.

2. Indulging in protracted discourse; tedious; wearisome; -- applied to a speaker or writer.

Syn. -- Long; diffuse; prolonged; protracted; tedious; tiresome; wearisome. -- Prolix , Diffuse . A prolix writer delights in circumlocution, extended detail, and trifling particulars. A diffuse writer is fond of amplifying, and abounds in epithets, figures, and illustrations. Diffuseness often arises from an exuberance of imagination; prolixity is generally connected with a want of it.

Prolixious adjective Dilatory; tedious; superfluous. [ Obsolete] "Lay by all nicety, and prolixious blushes." Shak.

Prolixity noun [ Latin prolixitas : confer French prolixité .] The quality or state of being prolix; great length; minute detail; as, prolixity in discourses and writings. "For fulsomeness of his prolixitee ." Chaucer.

Idly running on with vain prolixity .
Drayton.

Prolixly adverb In a prolix manner. Dryden.

Prolixness noun Prolixity. Adam Smith.

Proll transitive verb [ See Prowl .] [ imperfect & past participle Prolled ; present participle & verbal noun Prolling .] To search or prowl after; to rob; to plunder. [ Obsolete] Barrow.

Proll intransitive verb To prowl about; to rob. [ Obsolete] South.

Though ye prolle aye, ye shall it never find.
Chaucer.

Proller noun Prowler; thief. [ Obsolete] Chapman.

Prolocutor noun [ Latin , from proloqui , past participle prolocutus , to speak out; pro for + loqui to speak.]


1. One who speaks for another. Jeffrey.

2. The presiding officer of a convocation. Macaulay.

Prolocutorship noun The office of a prolocutor.

Prolog noun & v. Prologue.

Prologize intransitive verb [ Greek .... See Prologue .] To deliver a Prologue. [ R.] Whewell.

Prologizer noun One who prologizes. [ R.]

Prologue noun [ French, from Latin prologus , from Greek ..., from ... to say beforehand; ... before + ... to say. See Logic .]


1. The preface or introduction to a discourse, poem, or performance; as, the prologue of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales;" esp., a discourse or poem spoken before a dramatic performance

2. One who delivers a prologue. [ R.] Shak.

Prologue transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Prologued ; present participle & verbal noun Prologuing .] To introduce with a formal preface, or prologue. [ R.] Shak.

Prolong transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Prolonged ; present participle & verbal noun Prolonging .] [ French prolonger , Latin prolongare ; pro before, forth + longus long. See Long , adjective , and confer Prolongate , Purloin . ]


1. To extend in space or length; as, to prolong a line.

2. To lengthen in time; to extend the duration of; to draw out; to continue; as, to prolong one's days.

Prolong awhile the traitor's life.
Shak.

The unhappy queen with talk prolonged the night.
Dryden.

3. To put off to a distant time; to postpone. Shak.

Prolongable adjective Capable of being prolonged; as, life is prolongable by care.

Each syllable being a prolongable quantity.
Rush.

Prolongate transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Prolongated ; present participle & verbal noun Prolongating .] [ Latin prolongatus , past participle of prolongare . See Prolong .] To prolong; to extend in space or in time. [ R.]

Prolongation noun [ French prolongation .]


1. The act of lengthening in space or in time; extension; protraction. Bacon.

2. That which forms an additional length.

Prolonge noun [ French See Prolong .] (Field Artillery) A rope with a hook and a toggle, sometimes used to drag a gun carriage or to lash it to the limber, and for various other purposes.

Prolonger noun One who, or that which, causes an extension in time or space.

Prolongment noun Prolongation.

Prolusion noun [ Latin prolusio , from proludere to prelude; pro before + ludere to play: confer French prolusion , Italian prolusione .] A trial before the principal performance; a prelude; hence, an introductory essay or exercise. "Domestic prolusions ." Thackeray.

Her presence was in some measure a restraint on the worthy divine, whose prolusion lasted.
Sir W. Scott.

Promanation noun [ Prefix pro- + Latin manatio a flowing, from manare to flow.] The act of flowing forth; emanation; efflux. [ Obsolete] Dr. H. More.

Promenade noun [ French (with a foreign suffix), from promener to lead, take for a walk, se promener to walk, from Latin prominare to drive forward or along; pro forward + minare to drive animals. See Amenable , Menace .]


1. A walk for pleasure, display, or exercise. Burke.

2. A place for walking; a public walk. Bp. Montagu.

Promenade intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Promenaded ; present participle & verbal noun Promenading .] To walk for pleasure, display, or exercise.

Promenader noun One who promenades.

Promerit transitive verb [ Latin promeritus , past participle of promerere to deserve; pro before + merere to merit.]


1. To oblige; to confer a favor on. [ Obsolete] Bp. Hall.

2. To deserve; to procure by merit. [ Obsolete] Davenant.

Promerops noun [ New Latin , from Greek ... before + ... bee-eater.] (Zoology) Any one of several species of very brilliant birds belonging to Promerops , Epimarchus , and allied genera, closely related to the paradise birds, and mostly native of New Guinea. They have a long curved beak and a long graduated tail.

Promethea noun [ New Latin See Prometheus .] (Zoology) A large American bombycid moth ( Callosamia promethea ). Its larva feeds on the sassafras, wild cherry, and other trees, and suspends its cocoon from a branch by a silken band.

Promethean adjective [ Latin Prometh ... us : confer French prométhéen .]


1. Of or pertaining to Prometheus. See Prometheus . " Promethean fire." Shak.

2. Having a life-giving quality; inspiring.

Promethean noun (Old Chem.) (a) An apparatus for automatic ignition. (b) A kind of lucifer match.

Prometheus noun [ Latin , from Greek ..., from ... to have forethought for.] (Class. Myth.) The son of Iapetus (one of the Titans) and Clymene, fabled by the poets to have surpassed all mankind in knowledge, and to have formed men of clay to whom he gave life by means of fire stolen from heaven. Jupiter, being angry at this, sent Mercury to bind Prometheus to Mount Caucasus, where a vulture preyed upon his liver.

Prominence, Prominency noun [ Latin prominentia : confer French prominence . See Prominent . ]


1. The quality or state of being prominent; a standing out from something; conspicuousness.

2. That which is prominent; a protuberance.

Solar prominences . (Astron.) See Solar Protuberances , under Protuberance .

Prominent adjective [ Latin prominens , -entis , present participle of prominere to jut out, to project; pro before, forward + minere (in comp.) to jut, project: confer French prominent . See Imminent , Eminent .]


1. Standing out, or projecting, beyond the line surface of something; jutting; protuberant; in high relief; as, a prominent figure on a vase.

2. Hence; Distinctly manifest; likely to attract attention from its size or position; conspicuous; as, a prominent feature of the face; a prominent building.

3. Eminent; distinguished above others; as, a prominent character.

Prominent' moth (Zoology) , any moth of the family Notodontidæ ; a notodontian; -- so called because the larva has a hump or prominence on its back. Several of the species are injurious to fruit trees.

Prominently adverb In a prominent manner.

Promiscuity noun Promiscuousness; confusion. H. Spencer.

Promiscuous adjective [ Latin promiscuus ; pro before, in place of, for + miscere to mix. See Mix . ]


1. Consisting of individuals united in a body or mass without order; mingled; confused; undistinguished; as, a promiscuous crowd or mass.

A wild, where weeds and flowers promiscuous shoot.
Pope.

2. Distributed or applied without order or discrimination; not restricted to an individual; common; indiscriminate; as, promiscuous love or intercourse.

Promiscuously adverb In a promiscuous manner.

Promiscuousness noun The quality or state of being promiscuous.

Promise adjective [ French promesse , Latin promissum , from promittere , promissum , to put forth, foretell, promise; pro forward, for + mittere to send. See Mission . ]


1. In general, a declaration, written or verbal, made by one person to another, which binds the person who makes it to do, or to forbear to do, a specified act; a declaration which gives to the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act.

For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise : but God gave it to Abraham by promise .
Gal. iii. 18.

2. (Law) An engagement by one person to another, either in words or in writing, but properly not under seal, for the performance or nonperformance of some particular thing. The word promise is used to denote the mere engagement of a person, without regard to the consideration for it, or the corresponding duty of the party to whom it is made. Chitty. Parsons. Burrill.

3. That which causes hope, expectation, or assurance; especially, that which affords expectation of future distinction; as, a youth of great promise . Shak.

My native country was full of youthful promise .
W. Irving.

4. Bestowal, fulfillment, or grant of what is promised.

He . . . commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father.
Acts i. 4.

Promise transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Promised ; present participle & verbal noun Promising .]


1. To engage to do, give, make, or to refrain from doing, giving, or making, or the like; to covenant; to engage; as, to promise a visit; to promise a cessation of hostilities; to promise the payment of money. "To promise aid." Shak.

2. To afford reason to expect; to cause hope or assurance of; as, the clouds promise rain. Milton.

3. To make declaration of or give assurance of, as some benefit to be conferred; to pledge or engage to bestow; as, the proprietors promised large tracts of land; the city promised a reward.

Promised land . See Land of promise , under Land . -- To promise one's self . (a) To resolve; to determine; to vow . (b) To be assured; to have strong confidence.

I dare promise myself you will attest the truth of all I have advanced.
Rambler.

Promise intransitive verb


1. To give assurance by a promise, or binding declaration.

2. To afford hopes or expectation; to give ground to expect good; rarely, to give reason to expect evil.

Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?
I fear it, I promise you.
Shak.

Promisee noun (Law) The person to whom a promise is made.

Promiser noun One who promises.

Promising adjective Making a promise or promises; affording hope or assurance; as, promising person; a promising day. -- Prom"is*ing*ly , adverb

Promisor noun (Law) One who engages or undertakes; a promiser. Burrill.

Promissive adjective Making a promise; implying a promise; promising. [ R.]