- 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.
Origin of prevail
- (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
Word Origin and History for prevailer
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.