- to keep from occurring; avert; hinder: He intervened to prevent bloodshed.
- to hinder or stop from doing something: There is nothing to prevent us from going.
- Archaic. to act ahead of; forestall.
- Archaic. to precede.
- Archaic. to anticipate.
- to interpose a hindrance: He will come if nothing prevents.
Origin of prevent
SynonymsSee more synonyms for prevent on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for prevent
Prevent disordered eating, then, and you can prevent eating disorders.How Skinny Is Too Skinny? Israel Bans ‘Underweight’ Models
January 8, 2015
If we want to prevent others from your fate, we need to stop being so passive on these issues.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen
January 1, 2015
In 1956, Balenciaga and Givenchy banned the press from viewing their collections for a month to prevent counterfeiting.The Big Business of Fashion Counterfeits
December 24, 2014
We reserve the right to any legal action to prevent new pranks of the kind.When Countries Lose Their Shit Over American Movies
December 17, 2014
This material has been reviewed by the CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.CIA Agents Assess: How Real Is ‘Homeland’?
Chuck Cogan, John MacGaffin
December 15, 2014
To put it out of your power to ruin yourself is the only way left to prevent your ruin.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
To prevent this, they were planning the capture of Beauséjour.The Raid From Beausejour; And How The Carter Boys Lifted The Mortgage
Charles G. D. Roberts
The ill consequence of which it is now in your power to prevent.A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion
William Dobein James
To me it seems that the first thing in regard to money is to prevent it from doing harm.Weighed and Wanting
However, it will not prevent the food from keeping perfectly.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
- (tr) to keep from happening, esp by taking precautionary action
- (tr often foll by from) to keep (someone from doing something); hinder; impede
- (intr) to interpose or act as a hindrance
- (tr) archaic to anticipate or precede
Word Origin and History for prevent
early 15c., "act in anticipation of," from Latin praeventus, past participle of praevenire "come before, anticipate, hinder," in Late Latin also "to prevent," from prae "before" (see pre-) + venire "to come" (see venue). Originally literal; sense of "anticipate to hinder" was in Latin, but not recorded in English until 1540s.