Pre*vail" (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Prevailed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Prevailing.] [F. pr'evaloir, OF. prevaleir, L. praevalere; prae before + valere to be strong, able, or worth. See Valiant.]


To overcome; to gain the victory or superiority; to gain the advantage; to have the upper hand, or the mastery; to succeed; -- sometimes with over or against.

When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. Ex. xvii. 11.

So David prevailed over the Philistine. 1 Sam. xvii. 50.

This kingdom could never prevail against the united power of England. Swift.


To be in force; to have effect, power, or influence; to be predominant; to have currency or prevalence; to obtain; as, the practice prevails this day.

This custom makes the short-sighted bigots, and the warier skeptics, as far as it prevails. Locke.


To persuade or induce; -- with on, upon, or with; as, I prevailedon him to wait.

He was prevailed with to restrain the Earl. Clarendon.

Prevail upon some judicious friend to be your constant hearer, and allow him the utmost freedom. Swift.


© Webster 1913.

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