Dictionary

prevail

verb pre·vail \pri-ˈvāl\

: to defeat an opponent especially in a long or difficult contest

: to be usual, common, or popular

: to be or continue to be in use

Full Definition of PREVAIL

intransitive verb
1
:  to gain ascendancy through strength or superiority :  triumph
2
:  to be or become effective or effectual
3
:  to use persuasion successfully <prevailed on him to sing>
4
:  to be frequent :  predominate <the west winds that prevail in the mountains>
5
:  to be or continue in use or fashion :  persist <a custom that still prevails>
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Examples of PREVAIL

  1. Mutual respect prevails among students and teachers here.
  2. The house was built in the style that prevailed in the 1980s.
  3. The law still prevails in some states.

Origin of PREVAIL

Middle English, from Latin praevalēre, from prae- pre- + valēre to be strong — more at wield
First Known Use: 15th century
PREVAIL Defined for Kids

prevail

verb pre·vail \pri-ˈvāl\
pre·vailedpre·vail·ing

Definition of PREVAIL for Kids

1
:  to succeed in convincing <Students prevailed upon the teacher to extend recess.>
2
:  to be or become usual, common, or widespread <West winds prevail in that region.>
3
:  to win against opposition <Good will prevail over evil.>

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