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Webster 1913 Edition


Prevent

Pre-vent′

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Prevented
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Preventing
.]
[L.
praevenire
,
praeventum
;
prae
before +
venire
to come. See
Come
.]
1.
To go before; to precede; hence, to go before as a guide; to direct.
[Obs.]
We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not
prevent
them which are asleep.
1 Thess. iv. 15.
We pray thee that thy grace may always
prevent
and follow us.
Bk. of Common Prayer.
Then had I come,
preventing
Sheba’s queen.
Prior.
2.
To be beforehand with; to anticipate.
[Obs.]
Their ready guilt
preventing
thy commands.
Pope.
3.
To intercept; to hinder; to frustrate; to stop; to thwart.
“This vile purpose to prevent.”
Shak.
Perhaps forestalling night
prevented
them.
Milton.

Pre-vent′

,
Verb.
I.
To come before the usual time.
[Obs.]
Strawberries . . . will
prevent
and come early.
Bacon.

Webster 1828 Edition


Prevent

PREVENT'

,
Verb.
T.
[L. proevenio, supra.]
1.
To go before; to precede.
I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried. Ps.119.
2.
To precede, as something unexpected or unsought.
The days of my affliction prevented me. Job.30.
2 Sam.22.
3.
To go before; to precede; to favor by anticipation or by hindering distress or evil.
The God of my mercy shall prevent me. Ps.59.
Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favor.
4.
To anticipate.
Their ready guilt preventing thy commands.
5.
To preoccupy; to pre-engage; to attempt first.
Thou hast prevented us with overtures of love.
[In all the preceding senses, the word is obsolete.]
6.
To hinder; to obstruct; to intercept the approach or access of. This is now the only sense. No foresight or care will prevent every misfortune. Religion supplies consolation under afflictions which cannot be prevented. It is easier to prevent an evil than to remedy it.
Too great confidence in success, is the likeliest to prevent it.

PREVENT'

,
Verb.
I.
To come before the usual time. [Not in use.]

Definition 2022


prevent

prevent

English

Alternative forms

Verb

prevent (third-person singular simple present prevents, present participle preventing, simple past and past participle prevented)

  1. (transitive) To stop; to keep from. [from 16th c.]
    I brushed my teeth to prevent them from going yellow.
    • 2011 October 1, Tom Fordyce, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 16-12 Scotland”, in BBC Sport:
      Scotland must now hope Georgia produce a huge upset and beat Argentina by at least eight points in Sunday's final Pool B match to prevent them failing to make the last eight for the first time in World Cup history.
  2. (intransitive, now rare) To take preventative measures. [from 16th c.]
    • 1897, Henry James, What Maisie Knew:
      ‘I think you must be mad, and she shall not have a glimpse of it while I'm here to prevent!’
  3. (obsolete, transitive) To come before; to precede. [16th-18th c.]
    • Bible, 1 Thess. iv. 15
      We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
    • Book of Common Prayer
      We pray thee that thy grace may always prevent and follow us.
    • Prior
      Then had I come, preventing Sheba's queen.
  4. (obsolete, transitive) To outdo, surpass. [16th-17th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.i:
      With that he put his spurres vnto his steed, / With speare in rest, and toward him did fare, / Like shaft out of a bow preuenting speed.
  5. (obsolete, transitive) To be beforehand with; to anticipate.
    • Alexander Pope
      their ready guilt preventing thy commands

Synonyms

  • See also Wikisaurus:hinder

Derived terms

Translations