from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To make impossible, as by action taken in advance; prevent. synonym: prevent.
  • transitive verb To exclude or prevent (someone) from a given condition or activity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To close; stop up; shut; prevent access to.
  • To shut out; hinder by excluding; prevent; impede.
  • To prevent by anticipative action; render in-effectual or unsuccessful; hinder the action of.
  • Synonyms To prevent, bar, debar, prohibit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To put a barrier before; hence, to shut out; to hinder; to stop; to impede.
  • transitive verb To shut out by anticipative action; to prevent or hinder by necessary consequence or implication; to deter action of, access to, employment of, etc.; to render ineffectual; to obviate by anticipation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive Remove the possibility of; rule out; prevent or exclude; to make impossible.

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

  • verb make impossible, especially beforehand
  • verb keep from happening or arising; make impossible


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

[Latin praeclūdere : prae-, pre- + claudere, to close.]


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  • In our times, the increasing complexity of our civilization would seem to preclude any serious thought of recapturing the harmony possible only in an age of grace and simplicity.

    José Enrique Rodó, Ariel

    October 30, 2011

  • keep from happening or arising; make impossible

    The manager specified that all other gates be locked, to preclude the possibility of persons without tickets entering the arena undetected.

    October 12, 2016

  • Poor weather precluding my morning outing, we yarned by the peat fire

    & the hours sped by like minutes.

    January 29, 2018