[ prev-uh-luhnt ]
/ ˈprɛv ə lənt /
Save This Word!

widespread; of wide extent or occurrence; in general use or acceptance.
having the superiority or ascendancy.
Archaic. effectual or efficacious.
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of prevalent

1570–80; <Latin praevalent- (stem of praevalēns), present participle of praevalēre to prevail. See pre-, -valent


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What are other ways to say prevalent?

Something that is prevalent is widespread or in general use or acceptance. How is this adjective different from prevailing and current? Find out on Thesaurus.com


What does prevalent mean?

Prevalent means widespread, in general use, or widely accepted.

The noun form of prevalent is prevalence.

Example: Social media use is so prevalent among teens that it’s often linked to the rise in mental health issues like anxiety.

Where does prevalent come from?

The first records of the word prevalent come from around the 1500s. It ultimately derives from the Latin praevalēre, meaning “to have superior strength” or “to prevail.” (The word prevail is also based on this word.)

Prevalent is often used in discussions of how widespread things are, such as in society or within a particular culture. If a belief is described as prevalent, it means it’s widely accepted in general or among a certain group of people. A disease may be described as prevalent in certain areas or in certain groups of people. Certain types of animals are prevalent in certain regions and rare in others. Memes are prevalent on social media. If something is becoming more prevalent, it’s becoming more widespread.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of prevalent?

What are some synonyms for prevalent?

What are some words that share a root or word element with prevalent?

What are some words that often get used in discussing prevalent?

How is prevalent used in real life?

Fittingly, prevalent is a common word. It’s often used in discussions about widespread cultural phenomena.

Try using prevalent!

Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used to describe something that’s prevalent?

A. widespread
B. common
C. rare
D. ubiquitous

How to use prevalent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for prevalent

/ (ˈprɛvələnt) /

widespread or current
superior in force or power; predominant

Derived forms of prevalent

prevalence or prevalentness, nounprevalently, adverb

Word Origin for prevalent

C16 (in the sense: powerful): from Latin praevalens very strong, from praevalēre: see prevail
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