[ fohr-stawl, fawr- ]
See synonyms for: forestallforestallingforestallment on

verb (used with object)
  1. to prevent, hinder, or thwart by action in advance: to forestall a riot by deploying police.

  2. to act beforehand with or get ahead of; anticipate.

  1. to buy up (goods) in advance in order to increase the price when resold.

  2. to prevent sales at (a fair, market, etc.) by buying up or diverting goods.

Origin of forestall

1350–1400; Middle English forstallen, verbal derivative of forstalle,Old English foresteall intervention (to defeat justice), waylaying. See fore-, stall2

Other words for forestall

Other words from forestall

  • fore·stall·er, noun
  • fore·stall·ment, forestalment, noun
  • un·fore·stalled, adjective

Words Nearby forestall Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use forestall in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for forestall


/ (fɔːˈstɔːl) /

  1. to delay, stop, or guard against beforehand

  2. to anticipate

    • to prevent or hinder sales at (a market, etc) by buying up merchandise in advance, etc

    • to buy up (merchandise) for profitable resale: Compare corner (def. 21)

Origin of forestall

C14 forestallen to waylay, from Old English foresteall an ambush, from fore- in front of + steall place

Derived forms of forestall

  • forestaller, noun
  • forestalment or esp US forestallment, noun

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