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prevent (v.)

early 15c., "act in anticipation of," from Latin praeventus, past participle of praevenire "come before, anticipate, hinder," in Late Latin also "to prevent," from prae "before" (see pre-) + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come." Originally literal; sense of "anticipate to hinder" was in Latin, but not recorded in English until 1540s.

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Definitions of prevent from WordNet

prevent (v.)
keep from happening or arising; make impossible;
prevent (v.)
stop (someone or something) from doing something or being in a certain state;
We must prevent the cancer from spreading
Synonyms: keep
From wordnet.princeton.edu