prevent[prē vent′, pri-]
An example of prevent is to seat students a couple of desks away from one another to stop them from copying each other's responses on an exam.
- to act in anticipation of (an event or a fixed time)
- to anticipate (a need, objection, etc.)
- to precede
- to stop or keep (from doing something)
- to keep from happening; make impossible by prior action; hinder
Origin of preventMiddle English preventen ; from Classical Latin praeventus, past participle of praevenire, to anticipate ; from prae-, before (see pre-) + venire, to come
verbpre·vent·ed, pre·vent·ing, pre·vents
- To keep from happening; avert: took steps to prevent the strike.
- To keep (a person or thing) from doing something; impede: prevented us from winning; prevented the disease from spreading.
- Archaic a. To anticipate or counter in advance.b. To come before; precede.
Origin of preventMiddle English preventen, to anticipate, from Latin praevenīre, praevent- : prae-, pre- + venīre, to come; see gwā- in Indo-European roots.
- pre·vent′a·bil′i·ty, pre·vent′i·bil′i·ty
- pre·vent′a·ble, pre·vent′i·ble
(third-person singular simple present prevents, present participle preventing, simple past and past participle prevented)
- To stop; to keep (from happening). [from 16th c.]
- I brushed my teeth to prevent them from going yellow.
- (intransitive, now rare) To take preventative measures. [from 16th c.]
- Book of Common Prayer
- We pray thee that thy grace may always prevent and follow us.
- Then had I come, preventing Sheba's queen.
From Middle English preventen (“anticipate"), from Latin praeventus, perfect passive participle of praeveniÅ (“anticipate"), from prae (“before") + veniÅ (“come").