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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce prevail (audio)

Dictionary definition of prevail

To be successful in overcoming resistance or opposition, or to gain victory or triumph in a situation.
"Against all odds, he managed to prevail in the final round."

Detailed meaning of prevail

It can be used to describe the outcome of a battle, competition, or negotiation, where one side overcomes the other. For example, a company may "prevail" in a court case if their argument is accepted by the judge, or an athlete may "prevail" in a race if they cross the finish line first. The verb can also be used to describe the widespread dominance or acceptance of a particular idea, belief, or custom. For example, a certain culture may "prevail" in a society, meaning that its values and practices are widely adopted and respected. When used in a more general sense, "prevail" can simply mean to be widespread or common, as in "hope prevails among the people." Overall, the verb "prevail" conveys the idea of success, triumph, or dominance in a particular situation.

Example sentences containing prevail

1. Positivity and optimism will prevail over negativity.
2. The principles of justice must prevail in any society.
3. Let the truth prevail no matter the obstacles.
4. Despite the difficulties, she believed her determination would prevail.
5. It is crucial that good values prevail in our community.
6. The spirit of unity can prevail over division.

History and etymology of prevail

The verb 'prevail' has its etymological roots in the Latin word 'praevalere,' which is a combination of 'prae,' meaning 'before' or 'ahead,' and 'valere,' meaning 'to be strong' or 'to be powerful.' In Latin, 'praevalere' conveyed the sense of having superior strength or influence. As the word transitioned into English, it retained this notion of being powerful or dominant. 'Prevail' came to mean being successful in overcoming resistance or opposition, ultimately gaining victory or triumph in a given situation. It implies a sense of prevailing over obstacles or prevailing ahead of others, emphasizing the ability to assert dominance or strength in achieving one's objectives.

Quiz: Find the meaning of prevail

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Further usage examples of prevail

1. When faced with adversity, resilience can prevail.
2. Fair play should always prevail in sports.
3. The power of love can prevail in even the darkest times.
4. We must work together to ensure peace will prevail.
5. In the end, common sense should prevail.
6. Honesty should always prevail in business dealings.
7. The rule of law must prevail in a just society.
8. A sense of hope can prevail over despair.
9. The desire for knowledge should prevail over ignorance.
10. Let us strive for harmony to prevail in our relationships.
11. Trust and transparency must prevail in government.
12. When faced with challenges, determination can prevail.
13. It is important that kindness and compassion prevail in our actions.
14. The message of unity and understanding should prevail in our discourse.



triumph, fail, lose, succumb


Prefix pre-, Competition and Rivalry, Continuation and Perseverance, Perseverance and Fortitude, Success and Achievement

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