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

Definition of prevention

: the act of preventing or hindering

Keep scrolling for more

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

Schools offering youth suicide prevention programs must report their participation to the state Department of Education., "New Louisiana laws parents and students should know about," 7 June 2019 Massachusetts spends about $2 per capita and New York spends about $1 per capita on their gun violence prevention grant programs that are similar to CalVIP, and both states have seen real, life-saving results from their investment. (john Gibbins / San Diego Union-tribune), San Diego Union-Tribune, "Commentary: Why California must invest more in violence intervention programs," 7 June 2019 Implementing homeless prevention programs and building new housing take time. Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards, The Mercury News, "Editorial: Don’t give up on efforts to house the homeless," 4 June 2019 That comes on top of nearly $1.9 billion for the government’s main drug treatment, recovery and prevention program, according to the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. Carla K. Johnson, The Seattle Times, "Q&A: Feds tackle opioid epidemic, but is it helping?," 28 Jan. 2019 Public health experts also stress that prevention programs to discourage teens from using cigarettes or e-cigarettes in the first place are critical. Betsy Mckay, WSJ, "Teen Vaping Has Created Addicts With Few Treatment Options," 18 Dec. 2018 The description says donations in excess of $100,000 will go directly to violence prevention programs at Futures Without Violence, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping violence against women, children, and families worldwide. Josephine Yurcaba, Teen Vogue, "Potential "New York Times" Ad to Get 1,600 Men to Support Christine Blasey Ford," 26 Sep. 2018 Congress could soon take up new legislation to bolster suicide prevention programs. CBS News, "What not to say when talking about suicide," 21 June 2018 What kind of fire prevention measures did Notre Dame have? Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "What Caused the Massive Fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral?," 16 Apr. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of prevention

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prevention

Statistics for prevention

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prevention

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!