Prevalent Prev"a*lent, a. [L. praevalens, -entis, p. pr. of praevalere. See {Prevail}.] 1. Gaining advantage or superiority; having superior force, influence, or efficacy; prevailing; predominant; successful; victorious. [1913 Webster]

Brennus told the Roman embassadors, that prevalent arms were as good as any title. --Sir W. Raleigh. [1913 Webster]

2. Most generally received or current; most widely adopted or practiced; also, generally or extensively existing; widespread; prevailing; as, a prevalent observance; prevalent disease. [1913 Webster]

This was the most received and prevalent opinion. --Woodward. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Prevailing; predominant; successful; efficacious; powerful.

Usage: {Prevalent}, {Prevailing}. What customarily prevails is prevalent; as, a prevalent fashion. What actually prevails is prevailing; as, the prevailing winds are west. Hence, prevailing is the livelier and more pointed word, since it represents a thing in action. It is sometimes the stronger word, since a thing may prevail sufficiently to be called prevalent, and yet require greater strength to make it actually prevailing. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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