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Line breaks: pre|vent
Pronunciation: /prɪˈvɛnt

Definition of prevent in English:


[with object]
1Keep (something) from happening: action must be taken to prevent further accidents
More example sentences
  • Too often one finds that two or three players make the same runs into space when a little bit of thought would have prevented it happening.
  • Anything that can prevent a tragedy from happening should be carefully adhered to.
  • The prime focus for us is to prevent them happening in the first place.
1.1Stop (someone) from doing something: locks won’t prevent a determined burglar from getting in
More example sentences
  • When it did eventually get underway there were several red flag incidents, stopping the session and preventing anyone really getting into their rhythm.
  • It prevents people from stopping and loitering there for all hours of the night and deciding what mischief they're going to get up to.
  • As if on cue, a tire started going flat Saturday, but a timely pit stop prevented him from losing much position.
2 archaic (Of God) go before (someone) with spiritual guidance and help.
Example sentences
  • The abiding Spirit prevents a humanistic, rationalistic understanding of truth.


late Middle English (in the sense 'act in anticipation of'): from Latin praevent- 'preceded, hindered', from the verb praevenire, from prae 'before' + venire 'come'.



Pronunciation: /-təˈbɪlɪti/
Example sentences
  • I think it's far too soon to draw conclusions about direct culpability, but there was definitely an element of preventability here.
  • Too many women are unaware of their risk factors and the prevalence and preventability of heart disease.
  • The domains that were surveyed (ie, preventability, liability, and quality) were based on generally accepted knowledge and consensus within the field.


(also preventible) adjective
Example sentences
  • The result, he says, will cause an unnecessary increase in preventable infections.
  • Why would you want any child to die unnecessarily from pneumococcal infection when it is now a preventable disease?
  • That should not have happened because most accidents are preventable.

Definition of prevent in:

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