prevent

[ pri-vent ]
/ prɪˈvɛnt /

verb (used with object)

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.

verb (used without object)

to interpose a hindrance: He will come if nothing prevents.

Origin of prevent

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin praeventus (past participle of praevenīre “to anticipate”), equivalent to prae- pre- + ven- (stem of venīre come) + -tus past participle suffix

Related forms

Synonym study

1. Prevent, hamper, hinder, impede refer to different degrees of stoppage of action or progress. To prevent is to stop something effectually by forestalling action and rendering it impossible: to prevent the sending of a message. To hamper is to clog or entangle or put an embarrassing restraint upon: to hamper preparations for a trip. To hinder is to keep back by delaying or stopping progress or action: to hinder the progress of an expedition. To impede is to make difficult the movement or progress of anything by interfering with its proper functioning: to impede a discussion by demanding repeated explanations.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prevent

British Dictionary definitions for prevent

prevent

/ (prɪˈvɛnt) /

verb

(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

Derived Forms

preventable or preventible, adjectivepreventability or preventibility, nounpreventably or preventibly, adverb

Word Origin for prevent

C15: from Latin praevenīre, from prae before + venīre to come
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