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pre·vent / priˈvent/ • v. [tr.] 1. keep (something) from happening or arising: action must be taken to prevent further accidents. ∎  make (someone or something) unable to do something: window locks won't prevent a determined burglar from getting in.2. archaic (of God) go before (someone) with spiritual guidance and help.DERIVATIVES: pre·vent·a·bil·i·ty / priˌventəˈbilətē/ n.pre·vent·a·ble (also pre·vent·i·ble) adj.