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prevent

[pri-vent] /prɪˈvɛnt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to keep from occurring; avert; hinder:
He intervened to prevent bloodshed.
2.
to hinder or stop from doing something:
There is nothing to prevent us from going.
3.
Archaic. to act ahead of; forestall.
4.
Archaic. to precede.
5.
Archaic. to anticipate.
verb (used without object)
6.
to interpose a hindrance:
He will come if nothing prevents.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin praeventus (past participle of praevenīre to anticipate), equivalent to prae- pre- + ven- (stem of venīre to come) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
preventable, preventible, adjective
preventabilty, noun
preventingly, adverb
nonpreventable, adjective
nonpreventible, adjective
quasi-prevented, adjective
unpreventable, adjective
unprevented, adjective
unpreventible, adjective
Synonyms
1. obstruct, forestall, preclude, obviate, thwart. Prevent, hamper, hinder, impede refer to different degrees of stoppage of action or progress. To prevent is to stop something effectually by forestalling action and rendering it impossible: to prevent the sending of a message. To hamper is to clog or entangle or put an embarrassing restraint upon: to hamper preparations for a trip. To hinder is to keep back by delaying or stopping progress or action: to hinder the progress of an expedition. To impede is to make difficult the movement or progress of anything by interfering with its proper functioning: to impede a discussion by demanding repeated explanations.
Antonyms
1. help, assist.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for prevent
  • Sometimes people are mobilized to prevent things from happening.
  • They add that therapies designed to prevent this from happening during drug use could one day help to thwart chemical dependency.
  • He should do more to prevent that from ever happening.
  • Proposed federal policy would prevent patent holders from protecting their ownership of genetic tests.
  • There were also hints that aspirin may help prevent some cancers.
  • Mango may be headed for the list of food that may help prevent or stop cancer.
  • Where winters are cold, it's crucial to mulch strawberries to prevent winter damage.
  • Scientists develop fake tanning lotions that will look more natural and help prevent skin cancer.
  • Individuals can also help prevent acid rain by conserving energy.
  • At the same time they would genetically alter the cells to prevent rejection by the body.
British Dictionary definitions for prevent

prevent

/prɪˈvɛnt/
verb
1.
(transitive) to keep from happening, esp by taking precautionary action
2.
(transitive) often foll by from. to keep (someone from doing something); hinder; impede
3.
(intransitive) to interpose or act as a hindrance
4.
(transitive) (archaic) to anticipate or precede
Derived Forms
preventable, preventible, adjective
preventability, preventibility, noun
preventably, preventibly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin praevenīre, from prae before + venīre to come
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 prevent
v.

early 15c., "act in anticipation of," from Latin praeventus, past participle of praevenire "come before, anticipate, hinder," in Late Latin also "to prevent," from prae "before" (see pre-) + venire "to come" (see venue). Originally literal; sense of "anticipate to hinder" was in Latin, but not recorded in English until 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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