Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

prevail

[pri-veyl]
See more synonyms for prevail on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to be widespread or current; exist everywhere or generally: Silence prevailed along the funeral route.
  2. to appear or occur as the more important or frequent feature or element; predominate: Green tints prevail in the upholstery.
  3. to be or prove superior in strength, power, or influence (usually followed by over): They prevailed over their enemies in the battle.
  4. to succeed; become dominant; win out: to wish that the right side might prevail.
  5. to use persuasion or inducement successfully: He prevailed upon us to accompany him.
Show More

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

Synonyms

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Antonyms

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

Related Words

prove, beat, win, reign, succeed, overcome, triumph, abound, preponderate, obtain, command, gain, master, carry, conquer, domineer, overrule, best, predominate

Examples from the Web for prevail

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for prevail

prevail

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

Word Origin

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

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper