Etymology
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batten (n.)
"strip of wood, bar nailed across parallel boards to hold them together," 1650s, Englished variant of baton "a stick, a staff" (see baton). Nautical sense "strip of wood nailed down over a tarpaulin over a ship's hatches to prevent leakage in stormy weather" is attested from 1769.
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frustrate (v.)

"make of no avail, bring to nothing, prevent from taking effect or coming to fulfillment," mid-15c., from Latin frustratus, past participle of frustrari "to deceive, disappoint, make vain," from frustra (adv.) "in vain, in error," which is related to fraus "injury, harm," a word of uncertain origin (see fraud). Related: Frustrated; frustrating.

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prop (v.)

"to support or prevent from falling by placing something under or against," mid-15c., probably from prop (n.1) or a related verb in Dutch. Meaning "support or sustain" in a general sense (especially a cause, institution, etc. at risk of failing) is from 1540s. Related: Propped; propping.

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roughshod (adj.)

also rough-shod, late 15c., "shod with shoes armed with points or calks," from rough (adv.) "in a rough manner" (late 14c.; see rough (adj.)) + shod. Originally of horses shod with the nail-heads projecting from the shoe to prevent slipping on roads. To ride roughshod over something figuratively is by 1861 in that wording.

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blast (v.)
Old English blæstan "to blow, belch forth," from Proto-Germanic *bles- (source also of German blasen, Gothic blesan "to blow"), from PIE root *bhle- "to blow." From 16c.-19c., often "to breathe on balefully, cause to wither, blight, prevent from blossoming or maturing." Meaning "to blow up by explosion" is from 1758. Related: Blasted; blasting.
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blinder (n.)
1580s, agent noun from blind (v.). In 19c. use, especially of blinkers for horses (1809); often figurative. They were said to prevent the horse looking around and being startled by peripheral movements and to keep it steady at its work, but many equestrian authorities railed against them as cruel and unnecessary. Related: Blinders.
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spoil-sport (n.)

1786, from verbal phrase (attested by 1711) in reference to one who "ruins" the "fun;" see spoil (v.) + sport (n.). Compare Chaucer's letgame "hinderer of pleasure" (late 14c.), from obsolete verb let (Middle English letten) "hinder, prevent, stop" (see let (n.)). Another old word for it was addle-plot "person who spoils any amusement" (1690s; see addle).

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avert (v.)
mid-15c., transitive, "turn (something) away, cause to turn away," from Old French avertir "turn, direct; avert; make aware" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *advertire, from Latin avertere "to turn away; to drive away; shun; ward off; alienate," from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Meaning "ward off, prevent the occurrence of" is from 1610s. Related: Averted; averting.
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hag-ridden (n.)

1680s, "ridden by hags or witches," past-participle adjective from hag-ride (1660s); see hag (n.) + ridden. From 1702 as "oppressed, harassed;" 1758 as "afflicted by nightmares." An old term for sleep paralysis (the sensation of being held immobile in bed, often by a heavy weight, and accompanied by a sense of alien presence). A holed stone hung over the bed was said to prevent it.

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selvage (n.)
mid-15c., "edge of web or cloth so finished as to prevent raveling," apparently literally "its own edge," a corruption of self + edge (n.); on analogy of Middle Flemish selvegge (compare also Low German sulfegge; Dutch zelfkant, from kant "border;" Middle High German selbende, German Selbend, literally "self-end").
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