Definition of prevent in English:

prevent

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Keep (something) from happening:

    ‘action must be taken to prevent further accidents’
    • ‘I think that avoidable deaths like these could be prevented if people could stop smoking publicly.’
    • ‘To compound matters he was unable to prevent the club from being relegated last season.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As with most management problems, the key to preventing a crisis from happening is early recognition.’
    • ‘When my wife and I were mugged someone got a police officer in no time but we should be trying to prevent the attacks happening.’
    • ‘And he made an impassioned plea for changes to be made to prevent a similar tragedy happening again.’
    • ‘We talk about it now, we know it's there, we have a small army of social workers dedicated to identifying it and preventing it from happening again.’
    • ‘Unable to prevent the sliding, the authorities had no choice but to abandon the project.’
    • ‘It may involve going to Pearson Airport to try to prevent a deportation from happening.’
    • ‘Ultimately, it was unable to prevent the Soviet invasion of the Baltic states in 1940.’
    • ‘Perhaps if she and her parents could have had the help and support needed it might have gone a long way in preventing this tragedy from happening.’
    • ‘But her experiences made her determined to prevent the same thing happening to others.’
    • ‘The union was unable to prevent the strike, but it is instructive to look at how it was conducted.’
    • ‘New security guidelines and technology are being put in place to prevent a similar problem happening again.’
    • ‘They could plan how it must happen; they turned the ship of state around and prevented it from being wrecked on the rocks of revenge.’
    • ‘Anything that can prevent a tragedy from happening should be carefully adhered to.’
    • ‘Each is a tragedy, and it is right to seek solutions to why it happened, and to try to prevent them happening again.’
    • ‘Surprise checks by the police, during day and night, can go a long way in checking the menace, thus preventing fatal road accidents.’
    • ‘We rang all our news outlets to explain the difficulties to them and are doing all we can to prevent the same thing happening again.’
    • ‘The prime focus for us is to prevent them happening in the first place.’
    stop, put a stop to, avert, nip in the bud, fend off, turn aside, stave off, ward off, head off, shut out, block, intercept, halt, arrest, check, stay
    hinder, impede, hamper, obstruct, baulk, foil, thwart, obviate, cheat, frustrate, forestall, counteract, inhibit, hold back, curb, restrain, preclude, pre-empt, save, help, suppress
    disallow, prohibit, forbid, proscribe, exclude, debar, bar, deter
    let
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Stop (someone) from doing something:
      ‘locks won't prevent a determined burglar from getting in’
      • ‘It is in my judgment equally likely that he has some mental or psychological block that simply prevents him from considering any other point of view.’
      • ‘He was then arrested and grabbed by the throat to prevent him swallowing anything.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was made without notice and so excluded the defendant from the process and prevented him from challenging it, he said.’
      • ‘Taylor's slip prevented him from intercepting Robert's cross and a scrum of bodies stopped the ball crossing the line.’
      • ‘This would also save NHS resources by preventing patients from being unnecessarily added to waiting lists.’
      • ‘In his introduction, Hughes says that this nightmare was necessary for him to overcome the block that had prevented him from writing the book.’
      • ‘He said his client did not understand that the order preventing him from buying alcohol stopped him from entering pubs, and he had only wanted a soft drink.’
      • ‘PIN-protect your mobile phone to prevent anyone checking your text messages or address book.’
      • ‘Parents should also ensure their fences and gates are secure to prevent children from getting out.’
      • ‘I could have stopped the invasion where it was… but something prevented me.’
      • ‘Well ok, it was only a dream, but the point is it stopped me getting a good night's sleep, which prevented me from writing to my full capacity today.’
      • ‘The purple dye stays on the finger for about a week to prevent anyone trying to vote a second time.’
      • ‘When it did eventually get underway there were several red flag incidents, stopping the session and preventing anyone really getting into their rhythm.’
      • ‘Checks were made in the roof space but fire spread prevented us from entering the attic.’
      • ‘Frustration is a blockage, you are prevented from fulfilling your desires.’
      • ‘They have blocked her driveway, preventing her family from returning home.’
      • ‘In a desperate attempt to restrain him she then sat on him to try to prevent him from moving.’
      • ‘And yet the checks designed to prevent such people being employed in schools raised no alarms.’
      • ‘As if on cue, a tire started going flat Saturday, but a timely pit stop prevented him from losing much position.’
      stop, put a stop to, avert, nip in the bud, fend off, turn aside, stave off, ward off, head off, shut out, block, intercept, halt, arrest, check, stay
      hinder, impede, hamper, obstruct, baulk, foil, thwart, obviate, cheat, frustrate, forestall, counteract, inhibit, hold back, curb, restrain, preclude, pre-empt, save, help, suppress
      disallow, prohibit, forbid, proscribe, exclude, debar, bar, deter
      let
      View synonyms
  • 2archaic (of God) go before (someone) with spiritual guidance and help.

    • ‘The abiding Spirit prevents a humanistic, rationalistic understanding of truth.’

Origin

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:

prevent

/prɪˈvɛnt/