Why was clemency trending last week?


[pri-veyl] /prɪˈveɪl/
verb (used without object)
to be widespread or current; exist everywhere or generally:
Silence prevailed along the funeral route.
to appear or occur as the more important or frequent feature or element; predominate:
Green tints prevail in the upholstery.
to be or prove superior in strength, power, or influence (usually followed by over):
They prevailed over their enemies in the battle.
to succeed; become dominant; win out:
to wish that the right side might prevail.
to use persuasion or inducement successfully:
He prevailed upon us to accompany him.
Origin of prevail
1350-1400; Middle English prevayllen to grow very strong < Latin praevalēre to be more able, equivalent to prae- pre- + valēre to be strong; see prevalent
Related forms
prevailer, noun
2. preponderate. 3. overcome.
3. lose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for prevail
  • They ought to be sancturaries where reason and logic prevail.
  • Time for rational and cool minds to prevail.
  • Nucleators let crystallization happen in the less extreme conditions that prevail in much of Earth's troposphere.
  • Surely, justice and truth will prevail in the end.
  • She predicted that as people get smarter about what they read online, better blogs will prevail.
  • Wallerstein has distinguished herself as a person who knows what it takes to prevail.
  • In the long run, justice will prevail and the fight against oppression will prevail.
  • In the end, superior teamwork will always prevail on any map.
  • Even the women presented here who do prevail do so against discrimination and unwarranted obstacles.
  • If bad weather looms, I pack a picnic and predict sunshine will prevail.
British Dictionary definitions for prevail


verb (intransitive)
often foll by over or against. to prove superior; gain mastery: skill will prevail
to be or appear as the most important feature; be prevalent
to exist widely; be in force
often foll by on or upon. to succeed in persuading or inducing
Derived Forms
prevailer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin praevalēre to be superior in strength, from prae beyond + valēre to be strong
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for prevail

c.1400, "be successful; be efficacious," from Old French prevaleir (Modern French prévaloir) and directly from Latin praevalere "be stronger, have greater power," from prae "before" (see pre-) + valere "have power, be strong" (see valiant). Spelling in English perhaps influenced by avail. Related: Prevailed; prevailing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for prevail

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for prevail

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with prevail