Synonym Chooser

How does the verb forestall differ from other similar words?

The words anticipate and prevent are common synonyms of forestall. While all three words mean "to deal with beforehand," forestall implies a getting ahead so as to stop or interrupt something in its course.

hoped to forestall the sale

When can anticipate be used instead of forestall?

The synonyms anticipate and forestall are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

Where would prevent be a reasonable alternative to forestall?

While in some cases nearly identical to forestall, prevent implies taking advance measures against something possible or probable.

measures taken to prevent leaks

Thesaurus Entries Near forestall

Cite this Entry

“Forestall.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on forestall

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