Simple Definition of preclude
: to make (something) impossible : to prevent (something) from happening
: to prevent (someone) from doing something
Examples of preclude in a sentence
I fear these things, but vaguely, for my brain buzzes in the merciful wash of endorphins that preclude any thought from occupying it too long. —Louise Erdrich, Harper's, May 1993
… the institution [of slavery] in the United States was almost uniquely despotic, a closed system so powerful and totalitarian that organized insurrection was almost entirely precluded … —William Styron, American Heritage, October 1992
But conceptual blinders can preclude observation, while most accurate generalities guarantee no proper resolution of specific anatomies, but can certainly guide perceptions along fruitful paths. —Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life, 1989
… the same profusion of water that precluded overland travel in the summer months could, during the sledgehammer freeze of winter, be utilized as a natural highway—albeit a highway of ice. —Jon Krakauer, Smithsonian, November 1987
She suffered an injury that precluded the possibility of an athletic career.
Bad weather precluded any further attempts to reach the summit.
Did You Know?
Preclude is often used in legal writing, where it usually refers to making something legally impossible. A new law may be passed by Congress to preclude any suits of a certain kind against a federal agency, for example. Some judges have found that the warnings on cigarette packs preclude any suits against the tobacco companies by lung-cancer sufferers. But there are plenty of nonlegal uses as well. Bad weather often precludes trips to the beach, and a lack of cash might preclude any beach vacation at all.
Origin and Etymology of preclude
Latin praecludere, from prae- + claudere to close — more at close
First Known Use: 1629
Legal Definition of preclude
: to prevent or exclude by necessary consequence: as a : to prevent (a party) from litigating an action or claim especially by collateral estoppel or res judicata <they are precluded only because they failed to assert…the grounds for recovery they now assert — Roach v. Teamsters Local Union No. 688, 595 F.2d 446 (1979)> b : to prevent (a claim or action) from being litigated especially by collateral estoppel or res judicata <the Civil Service Reform Act provides the exclusive address for adverse federal employment actions and thus precludes claims brought under the Tort Claims Act — National Law Journal>
preclusion\-ˈklü-zhən\ play noun
preclusive\-ˈklü-siv\ play adjective
Seen and Heard
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