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Synonyms and Antonyms

What is an antonym for 'prospectors'?

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November 08, 2007 1:04AM

Generally nouns are not considered to have antonyms, or opposites, as verbs and adjectives may. For example, no one can say what is the opposite of fireman. But the noun prospector is formed from the verb prospect, so we can think what would be the opposite of prospecting and then posit its related noun form as prospector's antonym. A prospector actively searches for something of value, be it gold or a golden opportunity. The opposite of prospecting, searching, would be not searching, rather simply waiting for an opportunity to come unasked. So can we say that, since the opposite of prospecting is waiting, then the antonym of prospector is waiter? Unfortunately waiter already has another meaning. So, searching the English language for nouns "opposite" of prospectors, words that carry the meaning of one who waits rather than searches for his wealth and opportunities, we find a couple of "prospects." Other contributors may suggest additional words. 1. scavengers

2. opportunists