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”).