Definition of prevent
1 archaic a : to be in readiness for (something, such as an occasion)b : to meet or satisfy in advancec : to act ahead ofd : to go or arrive before
2 : to deprive of power or hope of acting or succeeding
3 : to keep from happening or existing steps to prevent war
: to interpose an obstacle
preventabilityplay \-ˌven-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
preventableor less commonly
preventibleplay \-ˈven-tə-bəl\ adjective
Examples of prevent in a sentence
Seatbelts in cars often prevent serious injuries.
Can exercise and a healthy diet prevent heart disease?
The accident could have been prevented.
He grabbed my arm to prevent me from falling.
Bad weather prevented us from leaving.
How are you going to prevent him from finding out about the party?
Origin and Etymology of prevent
Middle English, to anticipate, from Latin praeventus, past participle of praevenire to come before, anticipate, forestall, from prae- + venire to come — more at come
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of prevent
PREVENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prevent for English Language Learners
: to stop (something) from happening or existing
: to make (someone or something) not do something : to stop (someone or something) from doing something
PREVENT Defined for Kids
Definition of prevent for Students
1 : to keep from happening Helmets help to prevent injuries.
2 : to hold or keep back Bad weather prevented us from leaving.
Seen and Heard
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