English

Definition of prevent verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  

prevent

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//prɪˈvent//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈvent//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they prevent
BrE BrE//prɪˈvent//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈvent//
 
he / she / it prevents
BrE BrE//prɪˈvents//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈvents//
 
past simple prevented
BrE BrE//prɪˈventɪd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈventɪd//
 
past participle prevented
BrE BrE//prɪˈventɪd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈventɪd//
 
-ing form preventing
BrE BrE//prɪˈventɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈventɪŋ//
 
 
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to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening prevent something/somebody The accident could have been prevented. The government took steps to prevent a scandal. prevent somebody/something from doing something He is prevented by law from holding a licence. Nothing would prevent him from speaking out against injustice. prevent (somebody/something) doing something (British English) Nothing would prevent him/his speaking out against injustice. Word 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’.Extra examples A good sunscreen will help prevent sunburn. Action must be swift in order to prevent further damage. Better intelligence could have possibly prevented the attack. No one can prevent you from attending this meeting. The drug inhibits the replication of cancer cells, thereby preventing their spread. The whole affair is an outrage and the authorities have done nothing to prevent it. There was nothing to prevent him setting up in business on the premises. There’s nothing to prevent these guys from copying our idea. These barriers completely prevent new companies from entering the market. They took action to prevent the disease from spreading. This new legislation effectively prevents us from trading. a study to determine whether the brace can reliably prevent knee injuries new measures aimed at preventing accidents Is there a total sun block which prevents tanning altogether? These strategies are aimed at preventing crime.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: prevent