from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To be greater in strength or influence; triumph: prevailed against the enemy.
- intransitive v. To be or become effective; win out: hoped justice would prevail.
- intransitive v. To be most common or frequent; be predominant: a region where snow and ice prevail.
- intransitive v. To be in force, use, or effect; be current: an ancient tradition that still prevails.
- intransitive v. To use persuasion or inducement successfully. Often used with on, upon, or with. See Synonyms at persuade.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To be superior in strength, dominance, influence or frequency; to have or gain the advantage over others; to have the upper hand; to outnumber others.
- v. To be current, widespread or predominant; to have currency or prevalence.
- v. To succeed in persuading or inducing.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To overcome; to gain the victory or superiority; to gain the advantage; to have the upper hand, or the mastery; to succeed; -- sometimes with over or against.
- intransitive v. To be in force; to have effect, power, or influence; to be predominant; to have currency or prevalence; to obtain.
- intransitive v. To persuade or induce; -- with on, upon, or with.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To be superior in strength; hence, to have or gain the advantage, as in a contest or matching of strength; be victorious; triumph; have the upper hand: often followed by over or against.
- To have or exert superior influence; have a controlling or overmastering authority; be predominant.
- To operate effectually; be effective; succeed, especially in persuading, inducing, or convincing.
- To be in force; extend with power or effect; hence, to be prevalent or current.
- To be currently received or believed; be established.
- To avail; be of value or service.
- To avail: used reflexively.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. continue to exist
- v. be valid, applicable, or true
- v. use persuasion successfully
- v. prove superior
- v. be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance
Middle English prevailen, from Old French prevaloir, prevaill-, from Latin praevalēre, to be stronger : prae-, pre- + valēre, to be strong; see wal- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English prevailen, from Old French prevaler, from Latin praevaleō ("be very able or more able, be superior, prevail"), from prae ("before") + valeō ("be able or powerful"). (Wiktionary)