forestall

verb
fore·​stall | \ fȯr-ˈstȯl How to pronounce forestall (audio) \
forestalled; forestalling; forestalls

Definition of forestall

transitive verb

1 : to prevent the normal trading in by buying or diverting goods or by persuading persons to raise prices forestalling the wheat harvest and selling it at three times its cost— G. B. Shaw
2 archaic : intercept
3 obsolete : obstruct, beset
4 : to exclude, hinder, or prevent by prior occupation or measures Negotiations failed to forestall the conflict.
5 : to get ahead of : anticipate detailed explanations intended to forestall questions

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Other Words from forestall

forestaller noun
forestallment \ fȯr-​ˈstȯl-​mənt How to pronounce forestall (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for forestall

prevent, anticipate, forestall mean to deal with beforehand. prevent implies taking advance measures against something possible or probable. measures taken to prevent leaks anticipate may imply merely getting ahead of another by being a precursor or forerunner or it may imply checking another's intention by acting first. anticipated the question by making a statement forestall implies a getting ahead so as to stop or interrupt something in its course. hoped to forestall the sale

Examples of forestall in a Sentence

Negotiations failed to forestall the conflict. His comments were meant to forestall criticism of his proposal. He forestalled critics by offering a defense of the project.
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Recent Examples on the Web And whereas the Doomsday Machine was conceived of as a world-ending device so as to forestall the end of the world; Facebook started because a semi-inebriated Harvard undergrad was bored one night. Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic, "Facebook Is a Doomsday Machine," 15 Dec. 2020 But by killing individual Palestinian military figures in Gaza, and more than a dozen people involved in the nuclear program inside Iran, Israel has sought to forestall more complicated, boots-on-the-ground conflicts. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "State-sponsored assassination: New tools, old questions," 10 Dec. 2020 But aides and allies acknowledged privately that the legal fights would -- at best -- forestall the inevitable, and some had deep reservations about the president's attempts to undermine faith in the vote. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, "Legal wrangling over vote resumes," 10 Nov. 2020 Still, a future administration could settle legal challenges by environmental and indigenous groups to forestall a sale or conduct an auction with prohibitive minimum bids and restrictive lease terms that scare off already wary oil companies. Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg.com, "Election Will Decide Fate of Alaska Gold Mine, Electric Cars," 29 Oct. 2020 The Italian doctors federation called this week for a nationwide lockdown to forestall a collapse of the medical system, marked by the closure of non-emergency procedures. Colleen Barry, Star Tribune, "Italian hospitals face breaking point in fall virus surge," 12 Nov. 2020 The Italian doctors federation called this week for a nationwide lockdown to forestall a collapse of the medical system, marked by the closure of non-emergency procedures. Colleen Barry, Anchorage Daily News, "Italian hospitals face breaking point in fall virus surge," 12 Nov. 2020 This year, there is a near presumption that legal fights will ensue and that only a definitive outcome is likely to forestall them. Arkansas Online, "Rumbling threats of legal challenges echo on Election Day," 3 Nov. 2020 But this year, there is a near presumption that legal fights will ensue and that only a definitive outcome is likely to forestall them. Mark Sherman, chicagotribune.com, "Legal armies on standby as potential election legal challenges likely to stem from huge increase in absentee balloting," 2 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forestall.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of forestall

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for forestall

Middle English, from forstall act of waylaying, from Old English foresteall, from fore- + steall position, stall

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Time Traveler for forestall

Time Traveler

The first known use of forestall was before the 12th century

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Statistics for forestall

Last Updated

20 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Forestall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forestall. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for forestall

forestall

verb
How to pronounce forestall (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of forestall

: to stop (something) from happening or to cause (something) to happen at a later time
: to act before (someone else) in order to prevent something

forestall

verb
fore·​stall | \ fȯr-ˈstȯl How to pronounce forestall (audio) \
forestalled; forestalling

Kids Definition of forestall

: to keep out, interfere with, or prevent by steps taken in advance forestalling problems

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Comments on forestall

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