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 So far this hyper-partisan divide on the exact nature of Section 230’s shortcomings has precluded any meaningful progress on reform. Matt Laslo, WIRED, "The Fight Over Section 230—and the Internet as We Know It," 13 Aug. 2019 But, wrote Roberts, if after the time and expense of the state process the plaintiff receives an adverse ruling there concerning just compensation, that ruling generally precludes a subsequent federal suit. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Let flawed court precedent fall," 28 June 2019 But such a move would thereby preclude the addition of either a low-cost veteran in free agency or another prospect, perhaps one of the players invited to play during summer league. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Pat Riley on Udonis Haslem’s Heat future, ‘He told me that he’s not finished yet with these guys’," 23 June 2019 Such a move, however, would preclude Irving from getting a max deal. Joey Morona, cleveland.com, "This ESPN host is begging Kyrie Irving to join LeBron on the Lakers," 14 June 2019 Labor-intensive jobs that are prominent in those areas often preclude folks from working later into life, and the types of white collar jobs that are more prevalent in larger cities are in shorter supply. Andrew Soergel, chicagotribune.com, "Seniors more likely to work longer in big metropolitan areas, analysis of Census data shows," 10 June 2019 That shouldn’t preclude forgiving some Europeans for their sense of loss. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Patrios," 16 Sep. 2019 The court’s decision appeared to preclude further legal challenges of Prayuth’s omission. Washington Post, "Thai court declines to hear case of PM’s incomplete oath," 13 Sep. 2019 The susceptibility of this argument to abuse by a ruler ought to preclude its being made. The Editors, National Review, "Let Republican Voters Choose," 12 Sep. 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

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Statistics for preclude

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for preclude

The first known use of preclude was circa 1513

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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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