prevail

[ pri-veyl ]
/ prɪˈveɪl /

verb (used without object)

to be widespread or current; exist everywhere or generally: Silence prevailed along the funeral route.
to appear or occur as the more important or frequent feature or element; predominate: Green tints prevail in the upholstery.
to be or prove superior in strength, power, or influence (usually followed by over): They prevailed over their enemies in the battle.
to succeed; become dominant; win out: to wish that the right side might prevail.
to use persuasion or inducement successfully: He prevailed upon us to accompany him.

Nearby words

  1. pretty-pretty,
  2. pretypify,
  3. pretzel,
  4. preussen,
  5. prev.,
  6. prevail on,
  7. prevailing,
  8. prevailing westerlies,
  9. prevailing wind,
  10. prevailingly

Origin of prevail

1350–1400; Middle English prevayllen to grow very strong < Latin praevalēre to be more able, equivalent to prae- pre- + valēre to be strong; see prevalent

Related formspre·vail·er, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prevail


British Dictionary definitions for prevail

prevail

/ (prɪˈveɪl) /

verb (intr)

(often foll by over or against) to prove superior; gain masteryskill will prevail
to be or appear as the most important feature; be prevalent
to exist widely; be in force
(often foll by on or upon) to succeed in persuading or inducing
Derived Formsprevailer, noun

Word Origin for prevail

C14: from Latin praevalēre to be superior in strength, from prae beyond + valēre to be strong

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 prevail

prevail

v.

c.1400, "be successful; be efficacious," from Old French prevaleir (Modern French prévaloir) and directly from Latin praevalere "be stronger, have greater power," from prae "before" (see pre-) + valere "have power, be strong" (see valiant). Spelling in English perhaps influenced by avail. Related: Prevailed; prevailing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper