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used in a sentence
4 meanings
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1  —as in:
reason will prevail
Definition prove superior or win
  • Neither side has the strength to prevail over the other.
prevail = win (prove to be superior)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • The defending champions prevailed again.
  • prevailed = won (proved to be superior)
  • Big Ma didn't answer immediately; she was occupied in a test of wills with Jack. When hers had prevailed and Jack had settled into a moderate trot, she replied moodily...
    Mildred D. Taylor  --  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • prevailed = proved superior or won
  • Eventually, the spirit of reconciliation prevailed.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • prevailed = won (became dominant)
  • Too many farmers had assumed, without due enquiry, that on such a farm a spirit of license and indiscipline would prevail.
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm
  • prevail = overcome other forces and show itself
  • She paused, and then she said, "May the right prevail."
    Madeleine L'Engle  --  A Wrinkle in Time
  • prevail = win or succeed
  • I have always felt strongly that right should prevail.
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • prevail = win (overcome other forces)
  • But there were many others who saw the situation differently, and it was their counsel that prevailed in the end.
    Chinua Achebe  --  Things Fall Apart
  • prevailed = won (was accepted)
  •   Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,
      Displant a town, reverse a prince's doom,
      It helps not, it prevails not,—talk no more.
    William Shakespeare  --  Romeo and Juliet
  • prevails = wins or proves superior
  • The fake peace that prevailed on Sundays was made more irritating by Aunt Alexandra's presence.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
prevailed = was common

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
2  —as in:
she prevailed upon him
Definition use persuasion — especially successfully
  • The lobbyist prevailed upon the president to sign the legislation.
prevailed = used persuasion
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • She prevailed upon him to make the visit.
  • prevailed = used persuasion
  • May I prevail upon your patience as I describe one more complication.
  • She prevailed upon him to visit his parents.
  • I beg you, woman, prevail upon your husband to confess.
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • prevail = use persuasion
  • ...when Justine was twelve years of age, prevailed on her mother to allow her to live at our house.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • prevailed = used persuasion
  • His last journey to London had been undertaken with no other view than that of introducing her brother in Hill Street, and prevailing on the Admiral to exert whatever interest he might have for getting him on.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • prevailing = persuading
  • This latter step, however, there was no present prospect that Arthur Dimmesdale would be prevailed upon to take; he rejected all suggestions of the kind, as if priestly celibacy were one of his articles of Church discipline.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • prevailed = persuaded
  • She was not to be prevailed on to leave Mr. Crawford.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • prevailed = persuaded
  • Sometimes I could not prevail on myself to enter my laboratory for several days, and at other times I toiled day and night in order to complete my work.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
prevail = successfully us persuasion

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
3  —as in:
prevailing attitude
Definition most common, powerful, or influential
  • In the afternoon, the meadow enjoys prevailing winds from the west.
prevailing = most common
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • At that time, the prevailing belief was that trans fats were healthier than butter.
  • prevailing = most common
  • Instead of using prevailing interest rate indexes, they...
  • Yesterday, the prevailing wisdom changed.
  • attacks the prevailing social order with the pin-pricks of vice and the hammer-blows of crime.
    Victor Hugo
  • The prevailing emotion was simply curiosity.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • prevailing = most powerful or influential
  • The prevailing color of life in America is a dull, dark green called olive drab.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
  • prevailing = most common or most influential
  • The republican institutions of our country have produced simpler and happier manners than those which prevail in the great monarchies that surround it.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • prevail = are most common
  • The prevailing Alaska wisdom held that McCandless was simply one more dreamy half-cocked greenhorn who went into the country expecting to find answers to all his problems and instead found only mosquitoes and a lonely death.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • prevailing = most common
  • ...suffering the more from that involuntary forbearance which his character and manner commanded, and from not daring to relieve herself by a single attempt at throwing ridicule on his cause. ... It was time to have done with cards, if sermons prevailed; and she was glad to find it necessary to come to a conclusion, and be able to refresh her spirits by a change of place and neighbour.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
prevailed = were most powerful or influential

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
4  —as in:
rare, but still prevails
Definition to be in force; or to have some power or influence
  • As good conversation was already prevailing, I just listened and enjoyed the evening.
prevailing = in effect
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Though rare, the ancient practice still prevails today.
  • prevails = is in force
  • ...she found, while they were at table, such a happy flow of conversation prevailing, in which she was not required to take any part—
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • prevailing = being in force
  • Half an hour followed that would have been at least languid under any other circumstances, but Fanny's happiness still prevailed.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • prevailed = was in force
  • As these were the best of her hopes, they could not always prevail; and in the course of a long morning, spent principally with her two aunts, she was often under the influence of much less sanguine views.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • prevail = come into effect
  • Miss Crawford saw much of Sir Thomas's thoughts as he stood, and having, in spite of all his wrongs towards her, a general prevailing desire of recommending herself to him, took an opportunity of stepping aside to say something agreeable of Fanny.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • prevailing = having an effect
  • I had thought you peculiarly free from wilfulness of temper, self-conceit, and every tendency to that independence of spirit which prevails so much in modern days, even in young women, and which in young women is offensive and disgusting beyond all common offence.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • prevails = is in force
  • The remaining three, Mrs. Rushworth, Mrs. Norris, and Julia, were still far behind; for Julia, whose happy star no longer prevailed, was obliged to keep by the side of Mrs. Rushworth, and restrain her impatient feet to that lady's slow pace, while her aunt, having fallen in with the housekeeper, who was come out to feed the pheasants, was lingering behind in gossip with her.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
prevailed = was in force

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
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