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[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 prevalently
Historical Examples
  • They fought much and prevalently; galloped desperately to and fro, ever on the alert.

  • The nose is prevalently long and of medium breadth, its proportions being practically identical with those of the modern English.

    Applied Eugenics Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson
  • The cone resembles that of P. excelsa, but is prevalently much shorter and with a relatively shorter peduncle.

    The Genus Pinus George Russell Shaw
  • Thus several species of the prevalently arctic and antarctic family Enchytraeidae are shore living.

    Earthworms and their Allies Frank E. Beddard
  • Certainly the habit of hope therein set forth is as prevalently sweeping among savages as among civilised folk.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
British Dictionary definitions for prevalently


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 prevalently



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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