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prevail

[pri-veyl] /prɪˈveɪl/
verb (used without object)
1.
to be widespread or current; exist everywhere or generally:
Silence prevailed along the funeral route.
2.
to appear or occur as the more important or frequent feature or element; predominate:
Green tints prevail in the upholstery.
3.
to be or prove superior in strength, power, or influence (usually followed by over):
They prevailed over their enemies in the battle.
4.
to succeed; become dominant; win out:
to wish that the right side might prevail.
5.
to use persuasion or inducement successfully:
He prevailed upon us to accompany him.
Origin
1350-1400
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
Synonyms
2. preponderate. 3. overcome.
Antonyms
3. lose.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for prevails
  • Journey toward the ocean floor, where eternal darkness prevails.
  • Nature, the brute fact of existence the ultimate ontology, prevails.
  • The answer will depend on how much industry cronyism prevails.
  • In terms of body type, in soccer and baseball, no particular one prevails.
  • In the marketplace of ideas the truth always prevails.
  • In each new case, a court has to decide whether the government's justification prevails over the interest in free speech.
  • That's the goal, and the company that can do that first is going to be the one that prevails.
  • Those advances would be a welcome change from the messy, difficult-to-track record keeping that prevails in health care today.
  • It is no disparagement to truth, that it can only prevail where reason prevails.
  • As long as the bipolar politics of food prevails, fixes to our nation's obesity crisis will remain elusive.
British Dictionary definitions for prevails

prevail

/prɪˈveɪl/
verb (intransitive)
1.
often foll by over or against. 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.
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
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Word Origin and History for prevails

prevail

v.

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
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