prevent

verb
pre·​vent | \ pri-ˈvent \
prevented; preventing; prevents

Definition of prevent

transitive verb

1 archaic

a : to be in readiness for (something, such as an occasion)
b : to meet or satisfy in advance
c : to act ahead of
d : 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
4 : to hold or keep back : hinder, stop often used with from

intransitive verb

: to interpose an obstacle

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Other Words from prevent

preventability \ pri-​ˌven-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
preventable or less commonly preventible \ pri-​ˈven-​tə-​bəl \ adjective
preventer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for prevent

prevent, anticipate, forestall mean to deal with beforehand. prevent implies taking advance measures against something possible or probable. measures taken to prevent leaks anticipate may imply merely getting ahead of another by being a precursor or forerunner or it may imply checking another's intention by acting first. anticipated the question by making a statement forestall implies a getting ahead so as to stop or interrupt something in its course. hoped to forestall the sale

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?
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Recent Examples on the Web

However, others are now changing their tune and suggesting that the separation of men and women prevents male recruits from establishing good relationships with their fellow female Marines. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "An All-Female Marine Platoon Will Finally Train Alongside Men at Boot Camp," 5 Jan. 2019 Of course, nothing goes according to plan when the two identical (but not related) girls decide to try and prevent Alyssa’s father from marrying a snobby woman named Clarice. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Which Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Movie You Should Watch According to Your Zodiac Sign," 2 Jan. 2019 The first was the Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR), which was designed to give Section 8 housing voucher recipients more choice in where to live, in addition to preventing landlords in low-income areas from price gouging. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "HUD won one court battle, lost another under Ben Carson in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Does this mean Apple isn't sharing valuable malware/threat-intel with AV-community, preventing the creation of widespread AV signatures that can protect end-users?! Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Four months after its debut, sneaky Mac malware went undetected by AV providers," 21 Dec. 2018 As well as preventing any flights from taking off, the suspension meant that numerous inbound flights had to be diverted to other London-area airports, while other flights were forced to land in Paris and Amsterdam. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Wealth managers and charities are looking forward to an IPO-rich 2019," 21 Dec. 2018 The two-inch plush material is ideal for firm mattresses, adding a fluffy pillow-top feel to your bed, and the stitching prevents shifting and helps keep the fill well-distributed. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "7 Top-Rated Mattress Toppers, According to Textile Pros," 19 Dec. 2018 The Alzheimer’s Association has launched the POINTER study, a more than $20 million two-year test that will examine whether lifestyle interventions can prevent dementia in 2,000 older adults. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 Something is preventing the rover from accessing the locations where the affected data are stored, said Curiosity deputy project manager Steve Lee, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Rover Team Confident Curiosity Will Bounce Back from Glitch," 22 Sep. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1c

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for prevent

Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prevent

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

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More Definitions for prevent

prevent

verb

English Language Learners Definition of prevent

: to stop (something) from happening or existing

: to make (someone or something) not do something : to stop (someone or something) from doing something

prevent

verb
pre·​vent | \ pri-ˈvent \
prevented; preventing

Kids Definition of prevent

1 : to keep from happening Helmets help to prevent injuries.
2 : to hold or keep back Bad weather prevented us from leaving.

Other Words from prevent

preventable \ pri-​ˈven-​tə-​bəl \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on prevent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prevent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prevent

Spanish Central: Translation of prevent

Nglish: Translation of prevent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prevent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on prevent

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