Prevent definition

prĭ-vĕnt
To keep from happening; avert.

Took steps to prevent the strike.

verb
22
12
Prevent is defined as to stop something from happening.

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.

verb
6
1
(intransitive, now rare) To take preventative measures. [from 16th c.]
verb
3
0
To stop; to keep (from happening). [from 16th c.]

I brushed my teeth to prevent them from going yellow.

verb
3
1
Book of Common Prayer.

We pray thee that thy grace may always prevent and follow us.

verb
2
0
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To come before; precede.
verb
1
0
To keep from happening; make impossible by prior action; hinder.
verb
1
0
Prior.

Then had I come, preventing Sheba's queen.

verb
1
0
To interpose an obstacle.
verb
2
2
To anticipate or counter in advance.
verb
0
0
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To present an obstacle.

There will be a picnic if nothing prevents.

verb
0
0
To act in anticipation of (an event or a fixed time)
verb
0
0
To anticipate (a need, objection, etc.)
verb
0
0
To precede.
verb
0
0
To keep (a person or thing) from doing something; impede.

Prevented us from winning; prevented the disease from spreading.

verb
10
11
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To stop or keep (from doing something)
verb
1
3

Origin of prevent

  • Middle English preventen to anticipate from Latin praevenīre praevent- prae- pre- venīre to come gwā- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English preventen (“anticipate"), from Latin praeventus, perfect passive participle of praeveniō (“anticipate"), from prae (“before") + veniō (“come").

    From Wiktionary