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Prevail definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

PREVA'IL, v.i. [L. proevaleo; proe, before, and valeo, to be strong or well. Valeo seems to be from the same root as the Eng. well. The primary sense is to stretch or strain forward, to advance.]
1. To overcome; to gain the victory or superiority; to gain the advantage.
When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. Exodus 17.
With over or against.
David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone. 2 Samuel 17.
This kingdom could never prevail against the united power of England.
2. To be in force; to have effect; power or influence.
This custom makes the short-sighted bigots and the warier skeptics, as far as ir prevails.
3. To be predominant; to extend over with force or effect. The fever prevailed in a great part of the city.
4. To gain or have predominant influence; to operate with effect. These reasons, arguments or motives ought to prevail with all candid men. In this sense, it is followed by with.
5. To persuade or induce; with on or upon. They prevailed on the president to ratify the treaty. It is also followed by with. They could not prevail with the king to pardon the offender. But on is more common in modern practice.
6. To succeed. The general attempted to take the fort by assault, but did not prevail. The most powerful arguments were employed,but they did not prevail.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

v
1: be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance; "Money reigns supreme here"; "Hispanics predominate in this neighborhood" [syn: predominate, dominate, rule, reign, prevail]
2: be valid, applicable, or true; "This theory still holds" [syn: prevail, hold, obtain]
3: continue to exist; "These stories die hard"; "The legend of Elvis endures" [syn: prevail, persist, die hard, run, endure]
4: prove superior; "The champion prevailed, though it was a hard fight" [syn: prevail, triumph]
5: use persuasion successfully; "He prevailed upon her to visit his parents"

Merriam Webster's

intransitive verb Etymology: Middle English, from Latin praeval?re, from prae- pre- + val?re to be strong more at wield Date: 15th century 1. to gain ascendancy through strength or superiority ; triumph 2. to be or become effective or effectual 3. to use persuasion successfully <prevailed on him to sing> 4. to be frequent ; predominate <the west winds that prevail in the mountains> 5. to be or continue in use or fashion ; persist <a custom that still prevails>

Oxford Reference Dictionary

v.intr. 1 (often foll. by against, over) be victorious or gain mastery. 2 be the more usual or predominant. 3 exist or occur in general use or experience; be current. 4 (foll. by on, upon) persuade. Phrases and idioms: prevailing wind the wind that most frequently occurs at a place. Derivatives: prevailingly adv. Etymology: ME f. L praevalere (as PRAE-, valere have power), infl. by AVAIL

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Prevail Pre*vail", v. i. [imp. & p. p. Prevailed; p. pr. & vb. n. Prevailing.] [F. pr['e]valoir, OF. prevaleir, L. praevalere; prae before + valere to be strong, able, or worth. See Valiant.] 1. 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. When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. --Ex. xvii. 11. So David prevailed over the Philistine. --1 Sam. xvii. 50. This kingdom could never prevail against the united power of England. --Swift. 2. To be in force; to have effect, power, or influence; to be predominant; to have currency or prevalence; to obtain; as, the practice prevails this day. This custom makes the short-sighted bigots, and the warier skeptics, as far as it prevails. --Locke. 3. To persuade or induce; -- with on, upon, or with; as, I prevailedon him to wait. He was prevailed with to restrain the Earl. --Clarendon. Prevail upon some judicious friend to be your constant hearer, and allow him the utmost freedom. --Swift.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(prevails, prevailing, prevailed) 1. If a proposal, principle, or opinion prevails, it gains influence or is accepted, often after a struggle or argument. We hope that common sense would prevail... Political and personal ambitions are starting to prevail over economic interests. = triumph VERB: V, V over n 2. If a situation, attitude, or custom prevails in a particular place at a particular time, it is normal or most common in that place at that time. A similar situation prevails in America... How people in a certain era bury their dead says much about the prevailing attitudes toward death. VERB: V, V-ing 3. If one side in a battle, contest, or dispute prevails, it wins. He appears to have the votes he needs to prevail... I do hope he will prevail over the rebels. VERB: V, V over/against n 4. If you prevail upon someone to do something, you succeed in persuading them to do it. (FORMAL) We must, each of us, prevail upon our congressman to act... VERB: V upon/on n to-inf

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

v. n. 1. Overcome. 2. Predominate, preponderate, succeed, have the superiority, gain the advantage, be in the ascendant, get the upper hand, carry the day, win the day, gain the day, win the palm. 3. Obtain, have effect, power, or influence, have sway, have currency, be in vogue, be rife.

Moby Thesaurus

abide, affect, argue into, be, be blooded, be extant, be found, be in, be in existence, be in force, be met with, be present, be successful, be the case, be the rage, be the rule, be the thing, be there, be victorious, beat, best, bestride, better, bide, break the record, breathe, bring around, bring round, cap, carry on, catch on, click, come off, connect, continue, continue the same, continue to be, convince, defeat time, defy time, dictate, dispose, dominate, domineer, drag along, drag on, draw, drone, dwell, endure, exceed, excel, exist, extend, farewell, get, go, go great guns, go off, go on, go one better, go over, go over big, go to town, graduate, happen to be, have being, have place, have the ascendancy, hold, hold on, hold out, hum, impress, improve on, incline, induce, influence, keep, keep on, last, last long, last out, live, live on, live through, maintain, make a hit, master, meet with success, obtain, occur, outweigh, overbalance, overbear, overcome, overpass, overtop, pass, perdure, perennate, perfect, persist, persuade, play first fiddle, predominate, preponderate, prompt, prosper, qualify, reign, remain, rule, rule the roost, run, run on, run through, stand, stay, stay on, subsist, succeed, surpass, survive, sustain, sway, take, take the lead, talk into, tarry, tide over, top, tower above, tower over, transcend, triumph, trump, twist, wear, wear the pants, wear well, win, win out, win over, work well, work wonders



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