Definition of prevail in English:

prevail

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Prove more powerful or superior.

    ‘it is hard for logic to prevail over emotion’
    • ‘The councillors are optimists and we believe that the good will prevail over evil in our Garden Town.’
    • ‘Abraham tries to prevail over God in the merit of having brought monotheism to the world.’
    • ‘Your voice was heard about the booking rules so let's hope good sense and fairness will prevail over the price policy.’
    • ‘I think it also possible that he has such a low opinion of her that he is determined that his opinions and views shall prevail over hers.’
    • ‘The president was determined that the goal of winning the war prevail over all else.’
    • ‘There are no Lycra-clad heroes swinging to the rescue; no guarantees that good will prevail over evil.’
    • ‘The better team should prevail over the course of several plays, so overtime is the way to go.’
    • ‘Its name derives from romance, the literary form in which desires and dreams prevail over everyday realities.’
    • ‘Does it make sense to say that the rights of A to depasture his or her cattle shall prevail over the rights of B?’
    • ‘He was of course, feeling the paternal love which can prevail over all other emotions.’
    • ‘What is to be gained by letting egos prevail over common sense?’
    • ‘Punjab reorganised their game on resumption and managed to prevail over their rivals.’
    • ‘While he admitted to contemplating suicide, he resolved to prevail over adversity.’
    • ‘Will they prevail over Australia and effectively raise prices over the next five years?’
    • ‘Your nation endured the blitz to prevail over an implacable foe.’
    • ‘We can hope that change for the good will ultimately prevail over change for the bad.’
    • ‘Rapoport presents this method as a means to help one to prevail over an opponent in an argument.’
    • ‘There are no questions, no wringing hands and no doubt that good will prevail over evil.’
    • ‘Don't you think that the same capitalist nature or profit motive will prevail over those countries?’
    • ‘Their collective rights prevail over individual or corporate monopoly interests.’
    win, win out, win through, triumph, be victorious, be the victor, gain the victory, carry the day, carry all before one, finish first, come out ahead, come out on top, succeed, prove superior, conquer, overcome, achieve mastery, gain mastery, gain ascendancy
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    1. 1.1 Be widespread or current in a particular area or at a particular time.
      ‘a friendly atmosphere prevailed among the crowds’
      • ‘The family home we stayed in was small, basic, clean and with a very friendly atmosphere prevailing.’
      • ‘A feverish atmosphere prevails at an otherwise-calm environment of the Museum complex.’
      • ‘It is, if you like, the humanitarian consequences of this legal vacuum that currently prevails there.’
      • ‘These measures would greater assist in dealing with the problems currently prevailing.’
      • ‘The atmosphere prevailing in the tribal belt has thrown up a serious challenge to the secular forces.’
      • ‘Cuba will make every effort to preserve the atmosphere of détente and mutual respect that has prevailed in that area in the past few years.’
      • ‘As it was the final meeting of the season before the Summer break, a festive atmosphere prevailed.’
      • ‘Others are just private murderous mafias that thrive in the atmosphere of lawlessness that prevails in large parts of the country.’
      • ‘After racing a wonderful atmosphere prevailed which led to an almighty sing song.’
      • ‘Jakarta's festive mood also prevailed in most other areas of the nation as millions of people celebrated on the day.’
      • ‘There, trained facilitators ensure that a positive, supportive atmosphere prevails.’
      • ‘A great atmosphere prevailed around the town in the afternoon with the amusements arcades open again.’
      • ‘Only when this has been set in place will we be able to assess the extent of the order that currently prevails.’
      • ‘Natural Healing Crystals are on display in the store and a calming atmosphere prevails.’
      • ‘You will have domestic worries and an unsettled atmosphere will prevail at home.’
      • ‘The cynicism prevailing among the new generation deprives society of the inflow of fresh ideas.’
      • ‘Everything feels dinky and a certain pre-war atmosphere prevails as we huddle inside, watching the rain lash at the portholes.’
      • ‘Villages will always win over towns because the community spirit prevails more with lesser areas of population.’
      • ‘My latest academic upload again points to the generally unscientific culture that prevails in academic psychology.’
      • ‘But they warned that if no rain falls within the next two months, a crisis might prevail in the area.’
      exist, be in existence, be present, be the case, hold, obtain, occur, be prevalent, be current, be rife, be rampant, be the order of the day, be customary, be established, be common, be widespread, be in force, be in effect
      current, existing, prevalent, usual, common, most usual, commonest, most frequent, general, mainstream
      View synonyms
  • 2prevail on/uponPersuade (someone) to do something.

    ‘she was prevailed upon to give an account of her work’
    • ‘The banks have been successful in prevailing upon this section to realise that there is joy in borrowing money too, and, of course, to the extent that it is spent to add style to living.’
    • ‘Soon hurlers started prevailing on him to repair hurleys for them, a service for the players which later developed into cutting and shaping new hurleys from a piece of raw wood.’
    • ‘The sales assistants must have prevailed upon me.’
    • ‘And the City Police Commissioner prevailed upon the State Home Secretary!’
    • ‘With every reading of a death warrant, well-oiled machinery, comprising local and foreign lawyers, has kicked into action, repeatedly prevailing upon the courts to stay the hangman's hand.’
    • ‘I mean, eventually I prevailed upon her to show me, for instance, how to read a story without blinking your eyes.’
    • ‘I have helped all kinds of disabled persons to set up telephone booths, prevailing upon the BSNL.’
    • ‘He said the older men ‘were prevailing upon him’ to hand over items in payment.’
    • ‘Why has that nation not prevailed upon that government in which the satellite station is located to prevent the airing of these videotapes?’
    • ‘Set in a college situation, the fiery hero does not fall for the glances of the heroine, right from the start to the end and, instead, prevails upon the heroine to identify her priorities right.’
    • ‘But the boaters prevailed upon the lieutenant to let them in.’
    • ‘With that, Jefferson finally prevails upon us to return to work.’
    • ‘Doolittle agrees but prevails on Eliza to give him some money after which he jubilantly gives voice to his general philosophy, ‘With a Little Bit of Luck’.’
    • ‘He said since the issue was of urgent importance and the Chief Minister prevailed upon him, the implementation of the project was expedited.’
    • ‘Every home in the parish was prevailed upon to assist.’
    • ‘If that MP can be prevailed upon to contact a minister of state and request a reply, the response will be referred to and drafted by the relevant civil servants.’
    • ‘If there is such, the surveyor involved should be prevailed upon to discover whether measures have been taken to obviate flooding, and if so, whether they work.’
    • ‘The authorities will be prevailed upon to ensure better living conditions for the senior citizens within the area, Mr Bhaskar said.’
    • ‘He prevails upon a fey young Australian girl, haunted by ghosts of the past, to drive him across the outback so he can claim the car.’
    • ‘It was a nice song, I liked it so much I prevailed upon my Dad to buy it for me…’
    persuade, induce, talk someone into, coax, convince, make, get, press someone into, win someone over, sway, bring someone round, argue someone into, urge, pressure someone into, pressurize someone into, bring pressure to bear on, coerce, influence, prompt
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin praevalere ‘have greater power’, from prae ‘before’ + valere ‘have power’.

Pronunciation

prevail

/prɪˈveɪl/