WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
pre•vent /prɪˈvɛnt/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. to keep from occurring;
    stop:[+ object]She took some pills to prevent seasickness.
  2. to stop (someone) from doing something:[+ object + from + verb-ing]Nothing will prevent us from going.
See -ven-.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
pre•vent  (pri vent),USA pronunciation v.t. 
  1. to keep from occurring;
    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;
  4. [Archaic.]to precede.
  5. [Archaic.]to anticipate.

  1. to interpose a hindrance:He will come if nothing prevents.
pre•venta•ble, pre•venti•ble, adj. 
pre•vent′a•bilty, n. 
pre•venting•ly, adv. 
  • Latin praeventus (past participle of praevenīre to anticipate), equivalent. to prae- pre- + ven- (stem of venīre to come) + -tus past participle suffix
  • late Middle English 1375–1425
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged 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.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged help, assist.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

prevent /prɪˈvɛnt/ vb
  1. (transitive) to keep from happening, esp by taking precautionary action
  2. (transitive) often followed 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
Etymology: 15th Century: from Latin praevenīre, from prae before + venīre to come

preˈventable, preˈventible adj preˈventably, preˈventibly adv

'prevent' also found in these entries:
Collocations: prevent [a fire, disaster], prevent [a disease, an illness], prevent the spread of [disease] to [others, the rest of the body], more...

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