preclude

verb
pre·clude | \ pri-ˈklüd \
precluded; precluding

Definition of preclude 

transitive verb

1 archaic : close

2 : to make impossible by necessary consequence : rule out in advance

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from preclude

preclusion \pri-ˈklü-zhən \ noun
preclusive \pri-ˈklü-siv, -ziv \ adjective
preclusively adverb

preclude Uses Within and Outside Law

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.

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In larger Alaska cities, that would preclude her from working as a police officer. Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, "A broken system of oversight for Alaska’s village police officers," 9 June 2018 But the executive director of the Human Rights Commission, Raymond Sexton, said while he was disappointed the court hadn’t issued a broader ruling supporting gay rights, he was encouraged because the ruling didn't preclude that in the future. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "Wedding cake ruling no help in Kentucky gay rights case," 4 June 2018 Kupchak said Tuesday that a player not working out for the Hornets wouldn’t preclude him from drafting that player. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte Hornets draft night: 4 scenarios to watch, including Kemba Walker trade?," 20 June 2018 That assignment doesn’t preclude him from continuing to coach the Spurs, but the move to Team USA could serve as a career transition point if Popovich so chooses. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Win or lose, a potential franchise-shaking summer is on the way for Spurs," 21 Apr. 2018 His streaky jumper and limited ability to create off the dribble may preclude him from becoming an impact NBA scorer. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "2018 NBA Draft Big Board 3.0: Trae Young Continues Dazzling Climb," 10 Jan. 2018 High debt levels can also hurt municipalities from an economic development perspective, Henken said, by precluding the use of TIF and other investment tools needed to attract development. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Seeing red: Which Milwaukee suburbs are closest to their debt limits?," 11 July 2018 The chances of a trade deal with America would be tiny, despite Donald Trump’s apparent enthusiasm for one; Mrs May’s plan precludes the acceptance of American agrifoods, a priority for negotiators there. The Economist, "Britain’s new Brexit plan is savaged—by its own Brexit secretary," 9 July 2018 This is not necessarily the violence of rape or beatings (though reaching the border may not preclude children from beatings while detained). Alex Ortega & Charley Sullivan, Philly.com, "What can children in cages teach us?," 2 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of preclude

circa 1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for preclude

Latin praecludere, from prae- + claudere to close — more at close

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preclude

Statistics for preclude

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preclude

The first known use of preclude was circa 1513

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for preclude

preclude

verb

English Language Learners Definition of preclude

: to make (something) impossible : to prevent (something) from happening

: to prevent (someone) from doing something

preclude

transitive verb
pre·clude | \ pri-ˈklüd \
precluded; precluding

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 assertRoach 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 ActNational Law Journal

Other words from preclude

preclusion \-ˈklü-zhən \ noun
preclusive \-ˈklü-siv \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on preclude

What made you want to look up preclude? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!