preclude

verb
pre·​clude | \ pri-ˈklüd How to pronounce preclude (audio) \
precluded; precluding

Definition of preclude

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from preclude

preclusion \ pri-​ˈklü-​zhən How to pronounce preclusion (audio) \ noun
preclusive \ pri-​ˈklü-​siv How to pronounce preclusive (audio) , -​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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri initially did not arrest Drejka, saying the controversial law precluded him from doing so. Allie Raffa, Fox News, "Fatal shooting reignites 'Stand Your Ground' law debate in Florida," 21 Aug. 2018 Each side will say that their missions are in harmony, that good design should not preclude good aerodynamics, and that aerodynamics should not limit design. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Future of Automotive Aerodynamics," 19 June 2018 Should that possibility preclude the creation of chimeras that involve our close evolutionary relatives, such as chimps or monkeys? Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "Brainstorming the ethics of neuroscience research in the age of organoids," 27 Apr. 2018 Sculley and Treviño counter that the historic interpretation of the Alamo footprint, including lowering the surface by 16 inches and replication of an old acequia, would preclude vehicle access on Alamo Street. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Officials try to avoid battle over Alamo plan," 8 July 2018 Being a member of the royal family doesn't preclude you from the stresses of gift giving. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "What Meghan Markle Can Expect From the Annual Royal Family Gift Exchange," 15 Dec. 2018 Security analysts say Southeast Asian countries are unlikely to accept any proposal that would preclude them from exercises with the U.S. Mr. Bolton said the U.S. welcomes the negotiations in principle. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "Bolton Warns China Against Limiting Free Passage in South China Sea," 13 Nov. 2018 If certain kinds of thought required devices like paper and pens, then the kind of poverty that precluded them looked as debilitating as a brain lesion. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "The Mind-Expanding Ideas of Andy Clark," 26 Mar. 2018 This was a bold move that largely precludes Redmond from asserting its > patents against Android and should mean that the company will no longer > receive royalties from smartphone manufacturers. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "GitHub is now officially a part of Microsoft," 26 Oct. 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.

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First Known Use of preclude

circa 1513, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for preclude

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

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Statistics for preclude

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preclude

The first known use of preclude was circa 1513

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More Definitions for preclude

preclude

verb

English Language Learners Definition of preclude

formal
: to make (something) impossible : to prevent (something) from happening
: to prevent (someone) from doing something

preclude

transitive verb
pre·​clude | \ pri-ˈklüd How to pronounce preclude (audio) \
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 How to pronounce preclusion (audio) \ noun
preclusive \ -​ˈklü-​siv How to pronounce preclusive (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on preclude

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with preclude

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for preclude

Spanish Central: Translation of preclude

Nglish: Translation of preclude for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preclude for Arabic Speakers

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