Definition of prevent in English:

prevent

verb

[with object]
  • 1Keep (something) from happening.

    ‘action must be taken to prevent further accidents’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Each is a tragedy, and it is right to seek solutions to why it happened, and to try to prevent them happening again.’
    • ‘As with most management problems, the key to preventing a crisis from happening is early recognition.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Surprise checks by the police, during day and night, can go a long way in checking the menace, thus preventing fatal road accidents.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And he made an impassioned plea for changes to be made to prevent a similar tragedy happening again.’
    • ‘New security guidelines and technology are being put in place to prevent a similar problem happening again.’
    • ‘It may involve going to Pearson Airport to try to prevent a deportation 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.’
    • ‘To compound matters he was unable to prevent the club from being relegated last season.’
    • ‘Unable to prevent the sliding, the authorities had no choice but to abandon the project.’
    • ‘Ultimately, it was unable to prevent the Soviet invasion of the Baltic states in 1940.’
    • ‘The union was unable to prevent the strike, but it is instructive to look at how it was conducted.’
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Stop (someone) from doing something.
      ‘locks won't prevent a determined burglar from getting in’
      ‘the guards threatened to bar the gates to prevent him leaving’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Parents should also ensure their fences and gates are secure to prevent children from getting out.’
      • ‘In his introduction, Hughes says that this nightmare was necessary for him to overcome the block that had prevented him from writing the book.’
      • ‘Taylor's slip prevented him from intercepting Robert's cross and a scrum of bodies stopped the ball crossing the line.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘PIN-protect your mobile phone to prevent anyone checking your text messages or address book.’
      • ‘This would also save NHS resources by preventing patients from being unnecessarily added to waiting lists.’
      • ‘And yet the checks designed to prevent such people being employed in schools raised no alarms.’
      • ‘I could have stopped the invasion where it was… but something prevented me.’
      • ‘They have blocked her driveway, preventing her family from returning home.’
      • ‘It was made without notice and so excluded the defendant from the process and prevented him from challenging it, he said.’
      • ‘Checks were made in the roof space but fire spread prevented us from entering the attic.’
      • ‘He was then arrested and grabbed by the throat to prevent him swallowing anything.’
      • ‘The purple dye stays on the finger for about a week to prevent anyone trying to vote a second time.’
      • ‘In a desperate attempt to restrain him she then sat on him to try to prevent him from moving.’
      • ‘Frustration is a blockage, you are prevented from fulfilling your desires.’
      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
      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/