prevalent

adjective
prev·​a·​lent | \ ˈpre-və-lənt How to pronounce prevalent (audio) , ˈprev-lənt \

Essential Meaning of prevalent

: accepted, done, or happening often or over a large area at a particular time : common or widespread prevalent beliefs a custom that was once prevalent here See More ExamplesThose teaching methods are still prevalent at some schools. a fashion that is prevalent among teenagersHide

Full Definition of prevalent

1 : generally or widely accepted, practiced, or favored : widespread
2 : being in ascendancy : dominant
3 archaic : powerful

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Other Words from prevalent

prevalent noun
prevalently adverb

How Should You Use prevalent?

Many diseases that were prevalent a century ago have been controlled by advances in medicine. Smallpox was prevalent on several continents for many centuries, and when Europeans brought it with them to the Americas, it killed more American Indians than the armed settlers did. But prevalent doesn't just describe diseases. One ideal of male or female beauty may be prevalent in a particular society and quite a different ideal in another. In the 1950s and '60s, there was a prevalent notion that if you went swimming less than an hour after eating you might drown because of stomach cramps—which goes to show that not every prevalent idea is exactly true.

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
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Recent Examples on the Web Internet and social media fraud were also prevalent because of the pandemic. Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2021 Many such jokes were prevalent during those first years after 9/11. Sascha Cohen, The Atlantic, 10 Sep. 2021 The theme of users preferring to download and use short-form video content and live streaming apps are prevalent, the report said. Terry Collins, USA TODAY, 6 Sep. 2021 Smoke will be prevalent in those areas due to the proximity of area fires. oregonlive, 1 Sep. 2021 Now, in a study last month in PLOS ONE, Tsai and her colleagues have shown that this counterintuitive mechanism of gene expression might be prevalent in the brain. Quanta Magazine, 30 Aug. 2021 The 1963 tournament, and in particular Loyola’s second-round game against Mississippi State on March 11, illustrated the racial tension that was prevalent in sports in the early 1960s. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Aug. 2021 The 1963 tournament, and in particular Loyola’s second-round game against Mississippi State on March 11, illustrated the racial tension that was prevalent in sports in the early 1960s. New York Times, 27 Aug. 2021 Hot-spot policing involves increased police visibility in small geographic areas where violent crime is prevalent, areas about the size of a football field. Kelli Smith, Dallas News, 9 Aug. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for prevalent

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

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Time Traveler for prevalent

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near prevalent

prevalence

prevalent

prevaricate

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prevalent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prevalent. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for prevalent

prevalent

adjective
prev·​a·​lent | \ ˈpre-və-lənt How to pronounce prevalent (audio) \

Kids Definition of prevalent

: accepted, practiced, or happening often or over a wide area prevalent beliefs

More from Merriam-Webster on prevalent

Nglish: Translation of prevalent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prevalent for Arabic Speakers

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