Etymology
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prevail (v.)

c. 1400, prevailen, "be successful; be efficacious," from Old French prevaleir (Modern French prévaloir) and directly from Latin praevalere "be stronger or more able, have greater power," from prae "before" (see pre-) + valere "have power, be strong" (from PIE root *wal- "to be strong").

The spelling in English perhaps has been influenced by avail. The meaning "have or exert superior influence" is from mid-15c. (to prevail upon "succeed in persuading" is by 1570s). The sense of "be in force, be prevalent or current" is by 1776. Related: Prevailed; prevailing.

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Definitions of prevail

prevail (v.)
be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance;
Synonyms: predominate / dominate / rule / reign
prevail (v.)
be valid, applicable, or true;
Synonyms: hold / obtain
prevail (v.)
continue to exist;
Synonyms: persist / die hard / run / endure
prevail (v.)
prove superior;
The champion prevailed, though it was a hard fight
Synonyms: triumph
prevail (v.)
use persuasion successfully;
He prevailed upon her to visit his parents
From wordnet.princeton.edu