What does prevent mean?

Definitions for prevent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word prevent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prevent, forestall, foreclose, preclude, forbidverb

    keep from happening or arising; make impossible

    "My sense of tact forbids an honest answer"; "Your role in the projects precludes your involvement in the competitive project"

  2. prevent, keepverb

    stop (someone or something) from doing something or being in a certain state

    "We must prevent the cancer from spreading"; "His snoring kept me from falling asleep"; "Keep the child from eating the marbles"


  1. preventverb

    To stop; to keep (from happening).

    I brushed my teeth to prevent them from going yellow.

  2. preventverb

    To take preventative measures.

  3. preventverb

    To come before; to precede.

  4. preventverb

    To outdo, surpass.

  5. Etymology: From preventen, from praeventus, perfect passive participle of praevenio, from prae + venio.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To PREVENTverb

    Etymology: prævenio, Lat. prevenir, Fr.

    Are we to forsake any true opinion, or to shun any requisite action, only because we have in the practice thereof been prevented by idolaters. Richard Hooker, b. v. s. 12.

    Prevent him with the blessings of goodness. Psalm xxi. 3.

    Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favour. Common Prayer.

    Let thy grace, O Lord, always prevent and follow us. Common Prayer.

    Mine eyes prevent the night-watches, that I might be occupied in thy words. Psalm cxix. 4.

    The same officer told us, he came to conduct us, and that he had prevented the hour, because we might have the whole day before us for our business. Francis Bacon.

    Nothing engendred doth prevent his meat:
    Flies have their tables spread, ere they appear;
    Some creatures have in winter what to eat;
    Others do sleep. George Herbert, Temple of Sacred Poems.

    Soon shalt thou find, if thou but arm their hands,
    Their ready guilt preventing thy commands;
    Coud’st thou some great proportion’d mischief frame,
    They’d prove the father from whose loins they came. Alexander Pope.

    Thou hast prevented us with offertures of love, even when we were thine enemies. Charles I .

    They prevented me in the day of my trouble; but the Lord was my upholder. Psalm xviii. 18.

    I do find it cowardly and vile,
    For fear of what might fall, so to prevent
    The time of life. William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar.

    This your sincerest care could not prevent,
    Foretold so lately what would come to pass. John Milton.

    Too great confidence in success is the likeliest to prevent it; because it hinders us from making the best use of the advantages which we enjoy. Francis Atterbury.

  2. To Preventverb

    To come before the time. A latinism.

    Strawberries watered with water, wherein hath been steeped sheep’s dung, will prevent and come early. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.


  1. prevent

    To prevent means to stop something from happening or arising. It involves taking action or measures in advance to ensure that a particular incident, problem, or situation does not occur. Prevention can also refer to hindering or obstructing a course of events or a process.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Preventverb

    to go before; to precede; hence, to go before as a guide; to direct

  2. Preventverb

    to be beforehand with; to anticipate

  3. Preventverb

    to intercept; to hinder; to frustrate; to stop; to thwart

  4. Preventverb

    to come before the usual time

  5. Etymology: [L. praevenire, praeventum; prae before + venire to come. See Come.]


  1. PReVENT

    PReVENT is a European automotive industry activity co-funded by the European Commission to contribute to road safety by developing and demonstrating preventive safety applications and technologies. Preventive and active safety applications help drivers to avoid or mitigate accidents by using in-vehicle systems that sense the nature and significance of the danger, while taking the driver’s state into account. The PReVENT project is one of the largest initiative on road safety co-funded as an Integrated Project by the European Commission. The total budget amounts to more than €55 million for a duration of 4 years starting from February 2004 to January 2008. It involves more than 50 European partners from the most prominent vehicle manufacturers and equipment suppliers to the best intelligent vehicle research laboratories in Europe. Three general concepts have been followed throughout the PReVENT Integrated Project: The Virtual Safety Belt, the Time-To-Collision timescale and Three-layer architecture. The Virtual Safety Belt is the concept of integrating complementary safety functions in one vehicle. PReVENT partners have worked together to develop the virtual safety belt around the vehicle by

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Prevent

    prē-vent′, v.t. to hinder: to check: to render impossible: (orig.) to go before: to be earlier than.—v.t. Prēvene′ (rare), to precede.—n. Prevē′nience.—adj. Prevē′nient (Milt.), going before: preceding: preventive.—n. Preventabil′ity, the quality of being preventable.—adj. Preven′table, that may be prevented or hindered.—ns. Preven′ter, one who, or that which, prevents or hinders: (naut.) an additional rope or spar for strengthening the ordinary one; Preven′tion, act of preventing: anticipation or forethought: obstruction.—adjs. Preven′tive, Preven′tative, tending to prevent or hinder: preservative.—n. that which prevents: a preservative.—adv. Preven′tively.—n. Preven′tiveness.—Preventive service, the service rendered by the coastguard in preventing smuggling. [L. præventus, pa.p. of prævenīrepræ, before, venīre, to come.]

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prevent' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1505

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prevent' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3288

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prevent' in Verbs Frequency: #219

How to pronounce prevent?

How to say prevent in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of prevent in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of prevent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of prevent in a Sentence

  1. Warren Bennis:

    The factory of the future will have two employees a man and a dog. The man's job will be to feed the dog. The dog's job will be to prevent the man from touching any of the automated equipment.

  2. Yemeni Foreign Minister Riyadh Yaseen:

    This campaign is mainly to prevent the Houthi rebels from using the airports and the planes to attack Aden and the other parts of Yemen and also to prevent them from using rockets.

  3. Nicole Saphier:

    When the vaccines initially became available, the ability to prevent symptomatic disease was over 90% so people choosing not to be vaccinated were largely responsible for viral transmission. This is no longer the case, vaccinated, and even boosted individuals are getting infected with the highly contagious variant and transmitting it to others as the ability to prevent symptomatic illness has dropped below 30% and the immediate protection of the booster is short-lived. There is no level of boosting that will fully prevent symptomatic illness and subsequent transmission.

  4. John Stuart Mill:

    The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.

  5. George Bernard Shaw:

    All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.

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Translations for prevent

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"prevent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/prevent>.

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    separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
    • A. elate
    • B. summon
    • C. rumpus
    • D. cleave

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