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verb (used with object), pre·clud·ed, pre·clud·ing.
  1. to prevent the presence, existence, or occurrence of; make impossible: The insufficiency of the evidence precludes a conviction.
  2. to exclude or debar from something: His physical disability precludes an athletic career for him.
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Origin of preclude

1610–20; < Latin praeclūdere to shut off, close, equivalent to prae- pre- + -clūdere, combining form of claudere to shut, close
Related formspre·clud·a·ble, adjectivepre·clu·sion [pri-kloo-zhuhn] /prɪˈklu ʒən/, nounpre·clu·sive [pri-kloo-siv] /prɪˈklu sɪv/, adjectivepre·clu·sive·ly, adverbun·pre·clud·a·ble, adjectiveun·pre·clud·ed, adjectiveun·pre·clu·sive, adjectiveun·pre·clu·sive·ly, adverb

Synonyms for preclude

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for preclusion

interruption, deterrence, halt, blockage, stoppage, interception, obviation, avoidance, obstruction, obstacle, prohibition, hindrance, impediment, determent, thwarting, inhibitor

Examples from the Web for preclusion

Historical Examples of preclusion

  • Advantages like these he certainly may enjoy in consequence of his preclusion from the higher and wider field of ideas.

    An Essay on the Evils of Popular Ignorance

    John Foster

  • It operates to preclude the consent of the succeeding generations; and the preclusion of consent is despotism.

  • "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree" in preclusion of uniting or mixing with others.

British Dictionary definitions for preclusion


verb (tr)
  1. to exclude or debar
  2. to make impossible, esp beforehand
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Derived Formsprecludable, adjectivepreclusion (prɪˈkluːʒən), nounpreclusive (prɪˈkluːsɪv), adjectivepreclusively, adverb

Word Origin for preclude

C17: from Latin praeclūdere to shut up, from prae in front, before + claudere to close
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

Word Origin and History for preclusion


1610s, from Latin praeclusionem (nominative praeclusio) "a shutting off," noun of action from past participle stem of praecludere (see preclude).

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1610s, from Latin praecludere "to close, shut off; hinder, impede," from prae- "before, ahead" (see pre-) + claudere "to shut" (see close (v.)). Related: Precluded; precluding.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper