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Definition of "prevent" []

  • To keep from happening: took steps to prevent the strike. (verb-transitive)
  • To keep (someone) from doing something; impede: prevented us from winning. (verb-transitive)
  • Archaic To anticipate or counter in advance. (verb-transitive)
  • Archaic To come before; precede. (verb-transitive)
  • To present an obstacle: There will be a picnic if nothing prevents. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "prevent" in a sentence
  • "So the best way to prevent is to stop people from feeding them with bread, chips and other stuff."
  • "Good men are afraid of sin, and are in care to prevent it; and the most effectual way to prevent is to hide God's word in our hearts, that we may answer every temptation, as our Master did, with, It is written, may oppose God's precepts to the dominion of sin, his promises to its allurements, and his threatenings to its menaces."
  • "Seeing your country change around you in ways that neither you nor your elected representatives can prevent is frightening, especially if you are older, white, and conservative by nature."