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.

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

prevailer, noun

2. preponderate. 3. overcome.

3. lose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
prevail (prɪˈveɪl)
vb (often foll by over or against) (often foll by on or upon)
1.  to prove superior; gain mastery: skill will prevail
2.  to be or appear as the most important feature; be prevalent
3.  to exist widely; be in force
4.  to succeed in persuading or inducing
[C14: from Latin praevalēre to be superior in strength, from prae beyond + valēre to be strong]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from L. prævalere "have greater power," from præ "before" + valere "have power, be strong" (see valiant).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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