pre·​ven·​tion | \ pri-ˈven(t)-shən How to pronounce prevention (audio) \

Definition of prevention

: the act of preventing or hindering

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Examples of prevention in a Sentence

Exercise and diet play a role in the prevention of heart disease. good crowd control is crucial to the prevention of riots

Recent Examples on the Web

Parkland students organized the March for Our Lives, a series of events in support of stronger gun violence prevention measures. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "11 Teen Gun Violence Survivors and Activists on the Parkland Shooting Anniversary," 14 Feb. 2019 Almost all proceeds will now go to drug treatment and crime prevention. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Philadelphia’s Forfeiture Landmark," 18 Sep. 2018 Backed by experts in security, psychology, and violence prevention. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "The Popular Mechanics Guide to Safer Schools," 1 Aug. 2018 The Illinois Department of Insurance has applied to the federal government to add a handful of requirements, mostly dealing with opioid addiction treatment and prevention, to the list of what insurers on Illinois’ exchange must cover. Lisa Schencker,, "Illinois seeks to expand Obamacare coverage of opioid addiction treatment, prevention," 5 July 2018 Studies are ongoing into other health benefits, with promising research focusing on cardiovascular health, insulin response, brain health and cancer treatment and prevention. Ashleigh Spitza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Little blue dynamos,' blueberries pack in flavor and nutrients," 11 June 2018 At that point, doctor and patient can discuss treatment and prevention options, including lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise that can reduce the risk of disease. Michelle Andrews, Washington Post, "What if your doctor offered genetic testing as a way to keep you healthy?," 28 May 2018 The money raised for the Alzheimer’s Association goes toward advocacy, care and support for those with Alzheimer’s, as well as scientific research aimed toward treatment, prevention, and ultimately a cure. Rebecca Behan, Indianapolis Star, "The Longest Day: Making a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s," 8 May 2018 For example, Schiavoni proposed using 10 percent of Ohio's $2 billion rainy-day reserves to pay for drugs treatment and prevention, but Republicans didn't want to touch the taxpayer money. Jessie Balmert,, "Ohio governor's race: Candidates say they've tackled heroin crisis. But it's getting worse," 3 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for prevention

Last Updated

5 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for prevention

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

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More Definitions for prevention



English Language Learners Definition of prevention

: the act or practice of stopping something bad from happening : the act of preventing something


pre·​ven·​tion | \ pri-ˈven-shən How to pronounce prevention (audio) \

Kids Definition of prevention

: the act or practice of keeping something from happening the prevention of fires

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Comments on prevention

What made you want to look up prevention? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an enemy or opponent

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