prev·​a·​lent ˈpre-və-lənt How to pronounce prevalent (audio)
: generally or widely accepted, practiced, or favored : widespread
: being in ascendancy : dominant
archaic : powerful
prevalent noun
prevalently adverb

Examples of prevalent in a Sentence

Sweden is known as a nation ridden by suicide and alcoholism, but those problems are no more prevalent here than in most European countries. John Harris, Rolling Stone, 14 Nov. 2002
Teams seem to him better coached, players more skilled, the strategy even more defensive, the opportunities less prevalent, the game less ripe. Alec Wilkinson, ESPN, 16 Apr. 2001
So prevalent were grave robberies that the pharaohs' loyal retainers often spirited away their masters' remains for reinterment in secret graves. Paul Martin, National Geographic Traveler, March 1999
Throughout the Mediterranean culture, which was the matrix of our own, the tree was a prevalent embodiment of the Mother Goddess;  … Francis DuPlessix Gray, UTNE Reader, November/December 1987
a custom that was once prevalent here Those teaching methods are still prevalent at some schools. a fashion that is prevalent among teenagers See More
Recent Examples on the Web In particular, the study found that with fewer procedural dramas in first run, the guns that are prevalent on those shows weren’t found as often in primetime. Valerie Wu, Variety, 13 Nov. 2023 Is Cornbread a Southern Thing? Because corn is so prevalent among Southern crops, cornbread has long been a regional staple. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 12 Nov. 2023 Recent toilet-paper hoarding was more prevalent among Americans than Europeans and more prevalent among the old than the young. Rafil Kroll-Zaidi, Harper's Magazine, 8 Nov. 2023 Last year, a study by the by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 54% of injured or killed drivers had drugs or alcohol in their systems, with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient in marijuana, the most prevalent. Samantha Hendrickson, Fortune, 3 Nov. 2023 Pregnancy complications are now more prevalent, as more women begin pregnancies with underlying medical conditions like high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. Compiled By Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 2 Nov. 2023 Chronic fatigue syndrome is another post-viral illness that was prevalent long before the COVID era. Dr. Krupa Patel, ABC News, 24 Oct. 2023 This behavior is especially prevalent in autocracies, in which leaders rarely search for new information or alternative viewpoints. Foreign Affairs, 24 Oct. 2023 That group provided a safe space for AAPI writers in New York City, Kim explained, at a time when racist and fetishizing depictions of Asians were still prevalent in the arts. Jireh Deng, Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prevalent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin praevalent-, praevalens very powerful, from present participle of praevalēre

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of prevalent was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near prevalent

Cite this Entry

“Prevalent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


prev·​a·​lent ˈprev(-ə)-lənt How to pronounce prevalent (audio)
: accepted, practiced, or happening often or over a wide area
prevalently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on prevalent

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