- To forestall is defined as to prevent something from happening, or to prevent someone from doing something.
When a snowstorm stops a wedding from happening, this is an example of a time when it forestalls the wedding.
- to prevent or hinder by doing something ahead of time
- to act in advance of; get ahead of; anticipate
- to interfere with the trading in (a market) by buying up goods in advance, getting sellers to raise prices, etc.
- to intercept
- to obstruct by force
Origin of forestallMiddle English forestallen ; from forestal, ambush ; from Old English foresteall: see fore and amp; stall
transitive verbfore·stalled, fore·stall·ing, fore·stalls
- a. To delay, hinder, or prevent (an event, for example) by taking action beforehand: “rehabilitative care, where the goal is not so much to cure disease as it is to forestall further decline” (George Anders). See Synonyms at prevent.b. To delay, hinder, or prevent (someone) from doing something by taking action beforehand.
- To prevent or hinder normal sales in (a market), as by buying up merchandise.
Origin of forestallMiddle English forestallen, to waylay and rob, from forestal, highway robbery, ambush, from Old English foresteall : fore-, fore- + steall, position; see stel- in Indo-European roots.
- Something situated or placed in front.
From Middle English forstal, from Old English foresteall (“an intervention, hindrance (of justice), ambush, assault, offence of waylaying on the highway, fine for such an offence, resistance, opposition”), equivalent to fore- + stall.
(third-person singular simple present forestalls, present participle forestalling, simple past and past participle forestalled)
- To prevent, delay or hinder something by taking precautionary or anticipatory measures; to avert.
- Fred forestalled disaster by his prompt action.
- To preclude or bar from happening, render impossible.
- In French, an aspired h forestalls elision.
- (archaic) To purchase the complete supply of a good, particularly foodstuffs, in order to charge a monopoly price.
- To anticipate, to act foreseeingly.
From Middle English forestallen (“to forestall, intercept, ambush, way-lay”), from forestalle (“a forestalling, interception”), from Old English foresteall (“intervention, hindrance of justice, ambush”), from fore- (“ahead of, before”) + steall (“position”).