Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: praevalere, from valere 'to be strong'

prevail

verb
     
preā€§vail [intransitive not in progressive] formal
1 if a belief, custom, situation etc prevails, it exists among a group of people at a certain time
prevail in/among etc
the economic conditions which prevail in England and Wales
I admired the creativity which prevailed among the young writers.
2 if a person, idea, or principle prevails in a fight, argument etc, they are successful in the end:
Justice will prevail.
common sense prevails/reason prevails (=a sensible decision is made)
He considered lying, but then common sense prevailed.
prevail over/against
Your inner strength will enable you to prevail over life's obstacles.

prevail on/upon somebody

phrasal verb
to persuade someone
prevail on/upon somebody to do something
She prevailed upon her father to say nothing.

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