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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
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 © 2016
pre•vent  (pri vent), 
  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; forestall.
  4. [Archaic.]to precede.
  5. [Archaic.]to anticipate.

  1. to interpose a hindrance:He will come if nothing prevents.
  • 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
pre•venta•ble, pre•venti•ble, adj. 
pre•vent′a•bilty, n. 
pre•venting•ly, adv. 
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. 1 . 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

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