[ fohr-stawl, fawr- ]
/ foʊrˈstɔl, fɔr- /

verb (used with object)

to prevent, hinder, or thwart by action in advance: to forestall a riot by deploying police.
to act beforehand with or get ahead of; anticipate.
to buy up (goods) in advance in order to increase the price when resold.
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


fore·stall·er, nounfore·stall·ment, forestal·ment, nounun·fore·stalled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for forestall

British Dictionary definitions for forestall

/ (fɔːˈstɔːl) /

verb (tr)

to delay, stop, or guard against beforehand
to anticipate
  1. to prevent or hinder sales at (a market, etc) by buying up merchandise in advance, etc
  2. to buy up (merchandise) for profitable resaleCompare corner (def. 21)

Derived forms of forestall

forestaller, nounforestalment or esp US forestallment, noun

Word Origin for forestall

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