• WordNet 3.6
    • v prevail use persuasion successfully "He prevailed upon her to visit his parents"
    • v prevail prove superior "The champion prevailed, though it was a hard fight"
    • v prevail be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance "Money reigns supreme here","Hispanics predominate in this neighborhood"
    • v prevail continue to exist "These stories die hard","The legend of Elvis endures"
    • v prevail be valid, applicable, or true "This theory still holds"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Prevail 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 ."
    • Prevail 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 .""So David prevailed over the Philistine.""This kingdom could never prevail against the united power of England ."
    • Prevail To persuade or induce; -- with on upon, or with; as, I prevailedon him to wait. "He was prevailed with to restrain the Earl.""Prevail upon some judicious friend to be your constant hearer, and allow him the utmost freedom."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • prevail To be superior in strength; hence, to have or gain the advantage, as in a contest or matching of strength; be victorious; triumph; have the upper hand: often followed by over or against.
    • prevail To have or exert superior influence; have a controlling or overmastering authority; be predominant.
    • prevail To operate effectually; be effective; succeed, especially in persuading, inducing, or convincing.
    • prevail To be in force; extend with power or effect; hence, to be prevalent or current.
    • prevail To be currently received or believed; be established.
    • prevail To avail; be of value or service.
    • prevail To avail: used reflexively.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Prevail prē-vāl′ to be very powerful: to gain the victory: to have the upper hand: to have greater influence or effect: to overcome: to be in force: to succeed
    • v.t Prevail (obs.) avail
    • ***


  • Oliver Goldsmith
    “Honor sinks where commerce long prevails.”
  • Charles Caleb Colton
    “Did universal charity prevail, earth would be a heaven, and hell a fable.”
  • Joseph Cannon
    Joseph Cannon
    “In the last analysis sound judgment will prevail.”
  • William Faulkner
    “I believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail.”
  • Kerry Thornley
    Kerry Thornley
    “What we imagine is order is merely the prevailing form of chaos.”
  • Walter Savage Landor
    “In argument, truth always prevails finally; in politics, falsehood always.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. prévaloir, OF. prevaleir, L. praevalere,; prae, before + valere, to be strong, able, or worth. See Valiant


In literature:

In a few minutes Nisida appeared to be absorbed in the perusal of the will; and the most solemn silence prevailed throughout the apartment!
"Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf" by George W. M. Reynolds
A common error has prevailed abroad that our prairie land is wet.
"A New Guide for Emigrants to the West" by J. M. Peck
The advice of Seton prevailed; the Scots would stand their ground.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07" by Various
The most intense excitement prevails.
"The Johnstown Horror" by James Herbert Walker
This impression prevails in various countries.
"Popular Education" by Ira Mayhew
All influences are summoned to bring about the success of the good, and in the end it will surely prevail.
"History of Education" by Levi Seeley
Thus Moses gives an account of the prevailing unrighteousness and lust.
"Commentary on Genesis, Vol. II" by Martin Luther
He accordingly prevailed on the lady to consent to a private marriage.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
This principle cannot be better illustrated than by the prevailing examples of our time.
"Epistle Sermons, Vol. II" by Martin Luther
But then again he could not prevail on himself to observe them.
"A History of England Principally in the Seventeenth Century, Volume I (of 6)" by Leopold von Ranke

In poetry:

The mother mourns, but does not fail,
Her courage and her love prevail
O'er sorrow, and her spirit hears
The promise of triumphant years.
"The Oxford Thrushes" by Henry Van Dyke
He saw their flesh was weak and frail,
He saw temptations still prevail;
The God of Abram loved them still,
And led them to his holy hill.
"Psalm 78 part 4" by Isaac Watts
We take the water, so they took his song;
They hail'd
Him as a prophet doing war with wrong—
His voice went everywhere, and still prevail'd.
"The Veiled Memnon" by Alexander Anderson
What though through her white loveliness
The wildflower dimmed, the moonlight paled,
Real to my touch she was; no less
Than when the earth prevailed.
"At Midnight" by Madison Julius Cawein
The virtue of that first command,
I know still does, and will prevail;
That while the earth itself shall stand,
The spring and summer shall not fail.
"Waiting For Spring" by John Newton
Our spirits faint; our sins prevail;
Leave not our trembling hearts to fail:
O Thou that hearest prayer, descend,
And still be found the sinner’s friend.
"Praise For Thee, Lord, in Zion Waits" by Henry Francis Lyte

In news:

Happy 50th birthday prevailing wage, you haven't changed a bit.
We'll remember Auburn's defense prevailing - and those Oregon socks.
Paterson vetoes prevailing wage bill.
David Paterson said he has vetoed a bill mandating service workers at public utility companies be paid a prevailing wage.
On Monday, February 16, the House Labor Committee approved HSB 149, the prevailing wage bill.
A critique of prevailing wisdom.
Prevailing political winds blowing fishing industry toward Sen Murkowski Mike Heimbuch point of view.
A Delaware judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state Labor Department's determination that a company must pay its employees the state's prevailing wage rates.
Prevailing wage provision in Clean Water bill could raise project costs, congressman argues.
Family Law – Attorney Fees – Prevailing Party .
Prevailing hope for better day could serve us today.
Rah , Pace prevail in LPGA's first 'Open Qualifier.
Where a plaintiff prison inmate has prevailed on an Eighth Amendment claim, the parties should be granted an opportunity to confer on the counsel fee issue.
Red Devil football will prevail.
Red Devils' defense prevails, shuts out Lions.

In science:

The prevailing possibility is to take the survival probability as a measure .
Quantum Irreversibility of Energy Spreading
In this sense, a stable state of each pair of units is: one up (positive, subordinated) and one down (negative, prevailing).
Why everything gets slower ?
This has been the prevailing view for the past twenty years (e. g.
Are waves all localized in two dimensional random media?
S and pe that prevail at a particular time t and location (r, θ).
Magnetic Fields in Massive Stars. II. The Buoyant Rise of Magnetic Flux Tubes Through the Radiative Interior
For p > pc the expanding (chaotic) map f0 prevails over the contracting map f1 and the overall behaviour is chaotic with λ > 0.
Synchronization of Random Linear Maps