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


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

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").


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  • prevail

    June 28, 2018