• WordNet 3.6
    • n prevalence the quality of prevailing generally; being widespread "he was surprised by the prevalence of optimism about the future"
    • n prevalence a superiority in numbers or amount "a preponderance of evidence against the defendant"
    • n prevalence (epidemiology) the ratio (for a given time period) of the number of occurrences of a disease or event to the number of units at risk in the population
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In ancient Rome, lead poisoning was a prevalent disease amongst the wealthy because of their extensive use of lead. Many Roman women died because of lead poisoning caused by the use of make-up that contained lead
    • n Prevalence The quality or condition of being prevalent; superior strength, force, or influence; general existence, reception, or practice; wide extension; as, the prevalence of virtue, of a fashion, or of a disease; the prevalence of a rumor. "The duke better knew what kind of argument were of prevalence with him."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: There is a member of the spider family called the demodex folliculorum that lives at the root of people's eye lashes. It's harmless and normal.(so they claim) To look for them, grab a handful of your eyelashes and dunk them in warm water. They'll start swimming out. It is prevalent in nearly 100% of old people in the U.S.
    • n prevalence The state or quality of being prevalent.
    • n prevalence Superior strength, influence, or efficacy; predominance.
    • n prevalence General occurrence, practice, or reception; extensive existence or use: as, the prevalence of a custom or of a disease.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Hay fever is the sixth most prevalent chronic condition in the United States.
    • Prevalence the state of being prevalent or wide-spread: superior strength or influence: preponderance: efficacy
    • ***


  • William James
    “The prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers.”
  • Henry David Thoreau
    “The broadest and most prevalent error requires the most disinterested virtue to sustain it.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. praevalentia,: cf. F. prévalence,. See Prevail
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. prévaloir—L. prævalērepræ, before, valēre, to be powerful.


In literature:

The result was the dominion of the phrase and the prevalence of hollow affectation.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner
A belief was prevalent that the patients in hospital would be the first so favored.
"Lights and Shadows in Confederate Prisons" by Homer B. Sprague
The print-shops teemed with caricatures, and the newspapers with epigrams and satires, upon the prevalent folly.
"Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay
The prosperity of nations depends intimately on the prevalence of the fireside virtues.
"The Young Maiden" by A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey
In Mr. Bakewell's 'Introduction to Geology,' the prevalence of this belief has been referred to.
"Fragments of science, V. 1-2" by John Tyndall
In one form or another the use of the weed was prevalent throughout the Americas.
"Myths & Legends of our New Possessions & Protectorate" by Charles M. Skinner
Prisons and punishments were prevalent throughout the land.
"Mizora: A Prophecy" by Mary E. Bradley
Extortion and beggary appeared very prevalent.
"Glances at Europe" by Horace Greeley
Well might Eden dwell on the consternation prevalent at Vienna early in 1794.
"William Pitt and the Great War" by John Holland Rose
First of all, with respect to the foreign nonsense so prevalent now in England.
"The Romany Rye A Sequel to 'Lavengro'" by George Borrow

In poetry:

"It makes me mad," stormed Hazembad,
"The prevalence of vermin."
"You've said it right," owned Gotabite,
"I'm lousy as a German."
"Troubles In The Trenches" by Abner Cosens
Why, fair one, would you not rely
On reason's force with beauty's join'd?
Could I their prevalence deny,
I must at once be deaf and blind.
"An Ode To A Lady. She Refusing To Continue A Dispute With Me, And Leaving Me In The Argument" by Matthew Prior
My fervent pray'rs ne'er did prevail,
Nor e'er of prevalency fail.
I wrestle till my strength be spent,
Yet yield when strong recruits are sent.
"The Believer's Riddle; or, the Mystery of Faith" by Ralph Erskine
Thy workmen here for shame have little cause:
Powerful through faith and prevalent in love,
Doubly they give the roving Indian laws,
Guide him for earth, and mould him for above.
"The Rose Of The Wilderness (Gathered In Crossing A Portage On The River Winnipeg)" by George Jehoshaphat Mountain
More prevalent was David's pray'r by far,
Th' enormous giant to o'ercome in war,
Than those smooth stones which from his scrip he took,
Though thro' his forehead one of them he strook.
"Advice To A Soldier" by Rees Prichard
Perhaps you have a turn for what
Is known as "misappropriation,"
Attractions this has doubtless got
For persons of a certain station,
But prevalent 'twill never be
Among the aristocracy.
"The Cat" by Harry Graham

In news:

Lynchings reached a peak of 230 in 1892, but they were prevalent well into the 1930s.
Brazil recorded a 50 per cent decrease in smoking prevalence between 1989 and 2010, according to the findings of a new study published in PLOS Medicine.
Prevalence of Celiac Disease in At-Risk and Not-At-Risk Groups in the United States.
Prevalence of Hearing Aid Use Among Older Adults in the United States.
Autism Prevalence May Be Far Higher Than Believed, Study Finds.
Deadline for MRSA Prevalence Survey participation is extended.
Prevalence of Bacteria in Making Snowflakes Is Seen as Widespread.
The Prevalence of Pain in the Workplace.
Prevalence of Rape in E. Congo Described as Worst in World.
Hypertension Greater Risk in IHS with High Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes.
Prevalence , Expenditures, and Complications of Multiple Chronic Conditions in the Elderly.
Chronic Condition Prevalence in the 50+ US Population.
The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes poses a major public health challenge.
At 21 days after the first quit date (before randomization ), 7-day point prevalent abstinence was reported by 39.2% in the LC group and 44.8% in the UC group ( P =.25).
Recurrent Melanoma More Prevalent Than First Thought.

In science:

Although necklaces become unstable as N → ∞, our results suggest that they may be prevalent for macromolecules of finite size.
Reversible stretching of homopolymers and random heteropolymers
This is prevalent in many quantum systems, e.g., Electron Spin Resonance (ESR).
Generation of quantum logic operations from physical Hamiltonians
For networks with ∆r 6= 0, the prevalences of copy operators and inverters are not identical.
Random maps and attractors in random Boolean networks
Our sample agrees with the prevalence of the same basic morphological types, regardless of environment.
The Planetary Nebula population of the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy
One must emphasize that this theorem does not explain the prevalence of grain boundaries.
Stress-free states of continuum dislocation fields: Rotations, grain boundaries, and the Nye dislocation density tensor