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 That does not preclude the possibility that Saudi Arabia could have sent other useful information to The Enquirer. Michael Rothfeld, New York Times, "Jeff Bezos’ Hack Inquiry Falls Short of Implicating National Enquirer," 23 Jan. 2020 But that still doesn't preclude Hunter from being one of the best players in the region. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "There's a ton of talent in Southern Indiana basketball. Here are the top players to watch," 22 Nov. 2019 That doesn’t preclude both from playing, either in separate series or both playing at the same time, either. Steve Megargee, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mississippi State staying coy about QB plans for Tennessee," 7 Oct. 2019 But that doesn't preclude changes at the state level, with the courts spurring states along in the most egregious cases. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Judge orders Georgia to switch to paper ballots for 2020 elections," 16 Aug. 2019 That doesn’t preclude the possibility of a merger, however. Keach Hagey, WSJ, "CBS Is Planning Offer for Sister Company Viacom," 18 June 2019 But that should not preclude someone from speaking out forcefully on a pressing civil rights issue. Brian Slodysko, The Seattle Times, "Buttigieg, once cordial to Pence, now critical amid campaign," 13 Apr. 2019 With a growth mindset, success in one arena doesn’t preclude or limit exploration of other interests, nor does difficulty signal the need to change course. Cindi May, Scientific American, "Life Advice: Don’t Find Your Passion," 9 Oct. 2018 That the business of fashion was of great interest to Daves didn’t preclude her enjoyment of the metier. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "A New Book, 1950s in Vogue, Celebrates Jessica Daves, the Magazine’s Editor from 1952-1962," 16 Dec. 2019

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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for preclude

Time Traveler

The first known use of preclude was circa 1513

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Statistics for preclude

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preclude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/preclude. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for preclude

preclude

verb
How to pronounce preclude (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of preclude

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

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