pre·ven·tion | \pri-ˈven(t)-shən \

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

Additionally, the prevention of suicide can be surprisingly variable, as was the case with my 53-year-old patient suffering from a painful and just-diagnosed metastatic pancreatic cancer. WSJ, "Suicide Not Just About the Depressed Person," 20 June 2018 From hurricane Katrina, superstorm Sandy, and more recently, hurricane Harvey, relief officials have been absorbing lessons for future prevention of and response to storm damage. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, "Months after Maria, Puerto Ricans take recovery into their own hands," 7 May 2018 Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (United States) at 1-800-273-8255, Lifeline (Australia) at 13 11 14 or Lifeline Aotearoa (New Zealand) at 0800 LIFELINE. New York Times, "Why New Zealand Is Furious About Australia’s Deportations Policy," 3 July 2018 In cases of self-harm and suicide, minimizing risk of contagion is key, according to suicide-prevention groups and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Karen De Sa,, "Teens pushed to the brink at ‘leadership’ camps," 18 June 2018 But patients that ill are often cared for, not in hospitals, but in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities—and those institutions tend not to hire or empower the sharp-eyed infection-prevention practitioners that hospitals do. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast," 13 July 2018 Banach was selected, along with classmate Shreya Jain, to represent their peers as members of the youth board of directors for the FACT movement — the Wisconsin youth tobacco-prevention program. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Franklin teens selected to be part of Wisconsin's FACT program board engaged in tobacco prevention," 11 July 2018 In the year ended June 30, 2017, the fraud-prevention program took action in 503 of 8,287 cases, a rate 6.1 percent. Jeff Mcdonald,, "San Diego County again sued over policy of searching homes of CalWorks applicants," 27 June 2018 Somer and his colleagues say more research is needed, and that treatment might be possible in the form of response-prevention technique similar to those used in treating OCD. Katie Heaney, The Cut, "Excessive Daydreaming Might Be a Form of Mental Illness," 25 June 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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Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

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

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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 \

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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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