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.
- pre·vent·a·ble, pre·vent·i·ble, adjective
- pre·vent·a·bil·ty, noun
- pre·vent·ing·ly, adverb
- non·pre·vent·a·ble, adjective
- non·pre·vent·i·ble, adjective
- qua·si-pre·vent·ed, adjective
- un·pre·vent·a·ble, adjective
- un·pre·vent·ed, adjective
- un·pre·vent·i·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use prevent in a sentence
By creating these custom firewalls, her company is able to place security in front of the device preventing a hacker from using it as a vehicle to get on the network.Perigee infrastructure security solution from former NSA employee moves into public beta | Ron Miller | September 17, 2020 | TechCrunch
Having to resort to such hocus-pocus has prevented us from proving that the theory of quantum electrodynamics is mathematically self-consistent.How Mathematical ‘Hocus-Pocus’ Saved Particle Physics | Charlie Wood | September 17, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
This “treatment” can include prescribed burns set under controlled conditions—ideally, spaced out geographically and across the year to prevent overwhelming communities with smoke.Suppressing fires has failed. Here’s what California needs to do instead. | James Temple | September 17, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
If you’re experiencing minor pain or are simply trying to prevent back problems in the future, the recommendations so far may be all you need.The best thing for back pain is actually more movement | Sara Chodosh | September 16, 2020 | Popular-Science
The right Android and iOS shortcut might prevent you from missing your train by helping you send that email faster.Get around your phone more quickly than you already are | David Nield | September 16, 2020 | Popular-Science
Sometimes, a tech glitch means you are prevented from looking at other users.
What hurts the most about your death is that it could have been prevented.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen | Parker Molloy | January 1, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
"I think this all could've been prevented if they just listened to the 25,000 people who marched last week," Alvarez said.Justice League Vigil for Slain NYPD Officers Asks Whose Life Matters | Olivia Nuzzi | December 22, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The culture of solidarity for teachers as workers prevented acknowledging some teachers as more accomplished than others.
Sudan has been plagued by years of political instability, which has prevented tourism from gaining traction.
Even then the Prime Minister was with difficulty prevented from bowling during forbidden hours.
“Akhab Khan prevented those Shia dogs from shooting you and Mayne-sahib,” went on the low murmur.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
This he was prevented from doing by Nabal's wife, who came out to meet David with fine presents and fine words.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
On the way he told Sam of the “swell visitors” to the garret, whom Laidlaw had prevented him from going back to see.The Garret and the Garden | R.M. Ballantyne
An absence of ducats, coupled with the necessity of getting my handicap down to ten, has prevented my speaking ere this.First Plays | A. A. Milne
British Dictionary definitions for prevent
(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
- preventable or preventible, adjective
- preventability or preventibility, noun
- preventably or preventibly, adverb
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