Definition of prevail
1 : to gain ascendancy through strength or superiority : triumph
2 : to be or become effective or effectual
3 : to use persuasion successfully prevailed on him to sing
4 : to be frequent : predominate the west winds that prevail in the mountains
5 : to be or continue in use or fashion : persist a custom that still prevails
Examples of prevail in a sentence
Mutual respect prevails among students and teachers here.
The house was built in the style that prevailed in the 1980s.
The law still prevails in some states.
Origin and Etymology of prevail
Middle English, from Latin praevalēre, from prae- pre- + valēre to be strong — more at wield
First Known Use: 14th century
PREVAIL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prevail for English Language Learners
: to defeat an opponent especially in a long or difficult contest
: to be usual, common, or popular
: to be or continue to be in use
PREVAIL Defined for Kids
Definition of prevail for Students
1 : to succeed in convincing Students prevailed upon the teacher to extend recess.
2 : to be or become usual, common, or widespread West winds prevail in that region.
3 : to win against opposition Good will prevail over evil.
Legal Definition of prevail
1 : to obtain substantially the relief or action sought in a lawsuit
2 : to be frequent or predominant the prevailing rate
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up prevail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).