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90s Slang You Should Know


[prev-uh-luh nt] /ˈprɛv ə lənt/
widespread; of wide extent or occurrence; in general use or acceptance.
having the superiority or ascendancy.
Archaic. effectual or efficacious.
Origin of prevalent
1570-80; < Latin praevalent- (stem of praevalēns), present participle of praevalēre to prevail. See pre-, -valent
Related forms
prevalence, prevalentness, noun
prevalently, adverb
nonprevalent, adjective
nonprevalently, adverb
unprevalent, adjective
unprevalently, adverb
1. common, extensive.
1. rare.
Synonym Study
1. See current. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for prevalent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It consists in the application of the notions of goblinism as they are prevalent at the time in the group.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • The most prevalent of these maladies are spinal curvature and myopia.

  • And another pleasant feature of excitement was added by the prevalent idea that the Prince had seen and heard the row.

    Phineas Redux Anthony Trollope
  • Then the pilots claimed that with the prevalent wind they could not handle her.

  • That she was "square-rigged," and generally of the then prevalent style of vessels of her size and class, is altogether probable.

British Dictionary definitions for prevalent


widespread or current
superior in force or power; predominant
Derived Forms
prevalence, prevalentness, noun
prevalently, adverb
Word Origin
C16 (in the sense: powerful): from Latin praevalens very strong, from praevalēre: see prevail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prevalent

early 15c., "having great power or force," from Latin praevalentem (nominative praevalens) "of superior strength; mighty," present participle of praevalere "to be more able" (see prevail). Meaning "extensively existing, in general use" is from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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