verb (used without object)
Origin of prevail
Nearly all of the Middle English spelling variants of Modern English prevail, e.g., prevailen, prevaile, provaile, have their -ai- spelling not from prévaloir, but from Middle English availen “to be of use or advantage” (Modern English avail ).
Examples from the Web for prevail
As McCain so eloquently stated Monday, we must not “risk our national honor to prevail in this or any war.”Why the Muslim World Isn’t Flipping Out Over the CIA Torture Report|Dean Obeidallah|December 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
These fanatical groups wish to create fundamentalist enclaves in which some version of Sharia law will prevail.
Then, a Perry campaign has to prevail in the general election.
Singer, a formidable Hollywood legal pugilist, said ultimately that “we [he and Travolta] will prevail in this action.”
The natural American impulse is to search for solutions, for policies that can prevail against these upheavals.Here’s What the U.S. Has to Do to Deal With the Mad Middle East|Leslie H. Gelb|July 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
She was determined that nothing should prevail upon her to let him out of her sight that night.Barchester Towers|Anthony Trollope
If a woman gives birth to a form of some kind, king against king,—his rival, will prevail.
If each officer can carry conviction to the understanding of one member of Congress, the measure will prevail.The Life of Isaac Ingalls Stevens, Volume I (of 2)|Hazard Stevens
But shall she not prevail, And sway you, as she oft hath done before?Gent.Beaumont & Fletcher's Works (8 of 10)|Francis Beaumont
Midday was at hand, and confusion continued to prevail among the fugitives.Annals of a Fortress|E. Viollet-le-Duc
British Dictionary definitions for prevail
Word Origin for prevail
Word Origin and History for prevail
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.