follow Dictionary.com

It’s about time. We are now on Instagram!

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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for preventing
  • It tenderizes meat and slows the development of yeast in bread dough, preventing the dough from over-rising and collapsing.
  • The pair were plagued by radio-frequency problems, preventing communication with ships in the area.
  • Advances including better nutrition, antiviral medications and vaccines are preventing the rapid spread of the illness.
  • Somewhere on that segment, he reasoned, was a gene crucial to preventing white blood cells from becoming cancerous.
  • They are well insulated and fit together tightly, preventing heat loss.
  • They bind the coffin bone to the hoof wall, preventing the digit from shifting as the horse moves.
  • He made it seem as though reading a lot might actually get you laid, without preventing you from joining a rock band.
  • preventing that is the key to getting our fiscal house in order.
  • Place in hot oven, that the surface may be quickly seared, thus preventing escape of inner juices.
  • We must find some way of preventing it in the future.
British Dictionary definitions for preventing

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for preventing

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for prevent

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for preventing

16
21
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with preventing