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v. pre·vent·ed, pre·vent·ing, pre·vents
1. To keep from happening; avert: took steps to prevent the strike.
2. To keep (a person or thing) from doing something; impede: prevented us from winning; prevented the disease from spreading.
3. Archaic
a. To anticipate or counter in advance.
b. To come before; precede.
To present an obstacle: There will be a picnic if nothing prevents.

[Middle English preventen, to anticipate, from Latin praevenīre, praevent- : prae-, pre- + venīre, to come; see gwā- in Indo-European roots.]

pre·vent′a·bil′i·ty, pre·vent′i·bil′i·ty n.
pre·vent′a·ble, pre·vent′i·ble adj.
pre·vent′er n.
Synonyms: prevent, preclude, avert, obviate, forestall
These verbs mean to stop or hinder something from happening, especially by advance planning or action. Prevent implies anticipatory counteraction: "Some contemporaries believed that capitalism and the rise of an international economy would prevent war among 'civilized' states" (John Howard Morrow).
To preclude is to exclude the possibility of an event or action: "a tranquillity which ... his wife's presence would have precluded" (John Henry Newman).
Avert and obviate imply that something, such as a difficulty or necessity, has been removed or avoided: The pilot's quick thinking averted an accident. The short duration of the journey obviated the need for large food supplies. Forestall usually suggests anticipatory measures taken to counteract, neutralize, or nullify the effects of something: We installed an alarm system to forestall break-ins.


1. a person or thing that prevents
2. (Nautical Terms) nautical a rope or other piece of gear rigged to prevent a sail from gybing
References in classic literature ?
During the most violent shocks of the Typhoon, the man at the Pequod's jaw-bone tiller had several times been reelingly hurled to the deck by its spasmodic motions, even though preventer tackles had been attached to it --for they were slack -- because some play to the tiller was indispensable.
But those who use long-acting asthma preventers conceive as quickly as other women, said the study published in the European Respiratory Journal.
15 (ANI): It seems Asthma is linked to infertility, but not among women taking regular asthma preventers.
Now, what the Interior Department and this administration is trying to do is undo the updated standards for shear rams and blowout preventers and is trying to get rid of a required third party to certify the safety mechanisms.
Some research suggests that a vegan diet might eliminate triggers and increase potential preventers.
Most preventers come in the form of a corticosteroid drug.
So-called crime preventers are a volunteer group of civilians recruited and managed by police to report on and prevent crime in cooperation with security forces and the local communities.
Drain and winterize underground irrigation systems, including yard sprinklers and backflow preventers; wrap the backflow preventer with insulating material.
Massive blowout preventers are anchored to the top of underwater wells.
To prevent this situation, modern rigs are equipped with blowout preventers, or BOP stacks, huge structures that sit on the sea floor directly over the wellhead.
In addition to calling for systematic safety management, the panel also said rig blowout preventers, the fail-safe equipment that did not function properly in the Macondo spill, should be redesigned in light of last year's disaster.
These voluntary standards include: the use of blind shear rams and a casing shear ram on subsea blowout preventers (BOPs); third-party verification of BOP testing and maintenance; and laboratory testing of cement slurries.