prevalent

adjective
prev·​a·​lent | \ ˈpre-və-lənt How to pronounce prevalent (audio) , ˈprev-lənt\

Definition of prevalent

1 : generally or widely accepted, practiced, or favored : widespread
2 : being in ascendancy : dominant
3 archaic : powerful

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Other Words from prevalent

prevalent noun
prevalently adverb

How Should You Use prevalent?

Many diseases that were prevalent a century ago have been controlled by advances in medicine. Smallpox was prevalent on several continents for many centuries, and when Europeans brought it with them to the Americas, it killed more American Indians than the armed settlers did. But prevalent doesn't just describe diseases. One ideal of male or female beauty may be prevalent in a particular society and quite a different ideal in another. In the 1950s and '60s, there was a prevalent notion that if you went swimming less than an hour after eating you might drown because of stomach cramps—which goes to show that not every prevalent idea is exactly true.

Examples of prevalent in a Sentence

Sweden is known as a nation ridden by suicide and alcoholism, but those problems are no more prevalent here than in most European countries. — John Harris, Rolling Stone, 14 Nov. 2002 Teams seem to him better coached, players more skilled, the strategy even more defensive, the opportunities less prevalent, the game less ripe. — Alec Wilkinson, ESPN, 16 Apr. 2001 So prevalent were grave robberies that the pharaohs' loyal retainers often spirited away their masters' remains for reinterment in secret graves. — Paul Martin, National Geographic Traveler, March 1999 Throughout the Mediterranean culture, which was the matrix of our own, the tree was a prevalent embodiment of the Mother Goddess;  … — Francis DuPlessix Gray, UTNE Reader, November/December 1987 a custom that was once prevalent here Those teaching methods are still prevalent at some schools. a fashion that is prevalent among teenagers
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Recent Examples on the Web

Somewhat ironically, Kling is fabricating jewelry that’s in tune with the current streetwear trend in a city where the look isn’t prevalent. Vogue, "Meet Göran Kling, Who Is Crafting Street-Smart “Slang” Jewelry in Sweden," 26 Mar. 2019 While a hunting spider could theoretically venture into an area where there is little or no prey, like your bed, Skvarla says spiders generally confine their hunting grounds to the areas their spidey senses tell them prey is more prevalent. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Do You Actually Swallow a Bunch of Spiders When You Sleep?," 8 Feb. 2019 In most cases, doctors learned that the patient had traveled to areas farther south, where the disease is more prevalent. Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Don't panic over first Rocky Mountain spotted fever death in Wisconsin, but be careful," 12 July 2018 Glitter was as prevalent as the officers from the Chicago Police Department along the parade route who helped control the crowded streets and man the barricades. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, "For parade-goers, Pride is a day to enjoy unity, speak up for equality," 24 June 2018 In the past decade, the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder has risen 289 percent and is more prevalent than AIDS, cancer and diabetes combined. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Luncheon to raise awareness of autism," 11 Jan. 2018 John Honovich, who runs the IPVM blog, said HiSilicon is most prevalent on cameras below $200. Mark Bergen, The Seattle Times, "Huawei is blocked in U.S., but its chips power security cameras everywhere," 28 Jan. 2019 Her pieces certainly stand out on their own, especially considering that both bodysuits and beading (hand-beaded bags, mostly) are two of the most prevalent trends in contemporary fashion and on social media right now. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Meet the Designer Behind Copenhagen’s Coolest New Line of Velvet Bodysuits," 28 Jan. 2019 Interestingly, hydro's share of the renewable energy landscape played out a lot like coal's over the past decade: hydro went from the most prevalent renewable resource in 28 states down to 19. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Four maps show how electricity generation has changed in the US," 23 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prevalent.' 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 prevalent

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for prevalent

Latin praevalent-, praevalens very powerful, from present participle of praevalēre

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Statistics for prevalent

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for prevalent

The first known use of prevalent was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for prevalent

prevalent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of prevalent

: accepted, done, or happening often or over a large area at a particular time : common or widespread

prevalent

adjective
prev·​a·​lent | \ ˈpre-və-lənt How to pronounce prevalent (audio) \

Kids Definition of prevalent

: accepted, practiced, or happening often or over a wide area prevalent beliefs

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Comments on prevalent

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not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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