from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Coming before; preceding.
  • adj. Expectant; anticipatory.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to prevenience

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Going before; preceding; hence, preventive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Going before; precedent; anticipative of later events.
  • Preventive; hindering; restraining.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. in anticipation


Latin praeveniēns, praevenient-, present participle of praevenīre, to precede : prae-, pre- + venīre, to come; see gwā- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
See prevenience (Wiktionary)


  • Grace should not therefore be described as prevenient and subsequent.

    Nature and Grace: Selections from the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas

  • Since grace causes the first effect in us, it is called prevenient in relation to the second effect.

    Nature and Grace: Selections from the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas

  • In light of Scripture clearly teaching that depraved humans can't choose God, Arminians have to resort to a concept called prevenient grace (which nullifies the noetic effects of sin), so that humans can have a "technical loophole" which allows them to choose God of their own accord-but the concept of prevenient grace is found nowhere in Scripture!

    The Scriptorium Daily: Middlebrow

  • (In Catholic theology, Mary, Jesus 'mother is also regarded as sinless by a special act of God called prevenient grace.) Blog

  • That occurs for those Christians who, having reached the age of reason, choose to cooperate with what the Scholastics called "prevenient" grace: the divine activity we need in our souls order to accept all other divine gifts.

    The attitude of beatitude

  • Those associative conceptions of the imagination, those eternally fixed types of action and passion, would come, not so much from the conscious invention of the artist, as from his self-surrender to the suggestions of an abstract reason or ideality in things: they would be evolved by the stir of nature itself, realising the highest reach of its dormant reason: they would have a kind of prevenient necessity to rise at some time to the surface of the human mind.

    Appreciations, with an Essay on Style

  • If she's not an example of God's prevenient grace and atonement, I don't know what is.

    Archive 2006-10-01

  • John Wesley wrote of the concept of "prevenient grace," that unmerited favor of God that pursues us throughout our lives, seeking to restore us into a right relationship with Him.

    a sad reminder

  • The 'Mother of God' of Roman Catholic dogma is, quite simply, the principle, prototype, and summing-up of the human creature cooperating in its own salvation by making use of its prevenient grace; as such, she is also the principle, prototype, and summing-up of the Church ...

    Karl Barth on Mary

  • And a cordiallest brief nod of chinchin dankyshin to, well, patient ringasend as prevenient (by your leave), to all such occasions, detachably replaceable (thanks too! twos intact!).

    Finnegans Wake

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