adjective prev·a·lent \ ˈpre-və-lənt , ˈprev-lənt \
|Updated on: 18 Aug 2018

Definition of prevalent

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





Examples of prevalent in a Sentence

  1. 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 HarrisRolling Stone14 Nov. 2002
  2. Teams seem to him better coached, players more skilled, the strategy even more defensive, the opportunities less prevalent, the game less ripe. —Alec WilkinsonESPN16 Apr. 2001
  3. So prevalent were grave robberies that the pharaohs' loyal retainers often spirited away their masters' remains for reinterment in secret graves. —Paul MartinNational Geographic TravelerMarch 1999
  4. Throughout the Mediterranean culture, which was the matrix of our own, the tree was a prevalent embodiment of the Mother Goddess;  … —Francis DuPlessix GrayUTNE ReaderNovember/December 1987
  5. a custom that was once prevalent here

  6. Those teaching methods are still prevalent at some schools.

  7. a fashion that is prevalent among teenagers

Recent Examples of prevalent from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of prevalent

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

PREVALENT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of prevalent for English Language Learners

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

PREVALENT Defined for Kids


adjective prev·a·lent \ ˈpre-və-lənt \

Definition of prevalent for Students

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

Seen and Heard

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very hard to disturb or upset

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