Definition of prevent in English:

prevent

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Keep (something) from happening or arising.

    ‘action must be taken to prevent further accidents’
    • ‘New security guidelines and technology are being put in place to prevent a similar problem 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.’
    • ‘The union was unable to prevent the strike, but it is instructive to look at how it was conducted.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As with most management problems, the key to preventing a crisis from happening is early recognition.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ultimately, it was unable to prevent the Soviet invasion of the Baltic states in 1940.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To compound matters he was unable to prevent the club from being relegated last season.’
    • ‘Surprise checks by the police, during day and night, can go a long way in checking the menace, thus preventing fatal road accidents.’
    • ‘It may involve going to Pearson Airport to try to prevent a deportation from happening.’
    • ‘Anything that can prevent a tragedy from happening should be carefully adhered to.’
    • ‘And he made an impassioned plea for changes to be made to prevent a similar tragedy happening again.’
    • ‘Unable to prevent the sliding, the authorities had no choice but to abandon the project.’
    • ‘Each is a tragedy, and it is right to seek solutions to why it happened, and to try to prevent them happening again.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I think that avoidable deaths like these could be prevented if people could stop smoking publicly.’
    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 Make (someone or something) unable to do something.
      ‘window locks won't prevent a determined burglar from getting in’
      • ‘The police are there to pick up the pieces, to find the perpetrator and see that justice prevents him from doing it again.’
      • ‘Decorum prevents me from providing you with specific examples.’
      • ‘But on the margin, it prevents a lot of people from taking steps that might lead to bankruptcy and deprivation.’
      • ‘Can revulsion be classified as an adaptive mechanism that prevents us from coming into contact with contaminants?’
      • ‘Ricin works by getting inside a person's cells and preventing them from making necessary proteins.’
      • ‘This prevents him from being able to negotiate with other European leaders from anything resembling a position of strength.’
      • ‘Several neighbours rushed to help the Brownes but they were unable to prevent the men escaping.’
      • ‘Develop your plan - then make a back up plan in case the crisis prevents you from using your preferred location and team.’
      • ‘Fortunately his girth prevents him from even thinking about scaling the bookcase, so the back of the futon is about as much of a Matterhorn as he can manage.’
      • ‘It should be noted that her inability to perceive reality prevents her from understanding that she is the cause of her problems.’
      • ‘However, none of that prevents me from honoring the courage and sacrifice of my Confederate ancestors.’
      • ‘Worsening eyesight prevents her from seeing the screen easily and lately she has been reading with the aid of a magnifying glass.’
      • ‘Too often I find that when it comes to matters of faith my reason overwhelms my emotions and prevents me from responding with true charity.’
      • ‘Once home, Charlie's connection to family prevents him from collapsing in racial self-hatred when he is unable to find work.’
      • ‘Drooping fatty tissue from her stomach area extends from her body and prevents her from walking, she and Turner say.’
      • ‘There's nothing in anything that was done last night that prevents us from filibustering somebody that's extreme.’
      • ‘This widespread belief prevents us from being on guard as ads besiege us.’
      • ‘Scenario 3: A flight or other travel delay prevents you from arriving at the dock before the ship sails.’
      • ‘I'll confess my own agoraphobia, which prevents me from enjoying opening nights of popular movies.’
      • ‘Real courage is not shooting people down, but preventing them from shooting.’
      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

/prəˈvent/