forestall

It takes a bit of planning to forestall something, meaning stop it from happening. To forestall the effects of aging, exercise and take care of your health all your life.

You can break the word forestall into parts to figure out its meaning. The prefix fore is one you've seen in words like forewarn, which means "to warn in advance." And you probably know that stall means "delay." So to forestall is to stall in advance, or put another way, to try to prevent or put off something you don't want to happen.

Definitions of forestall
  1. verb
    keep from happening or arising; make impossible
    synonyms: forbid, foreclose, preclude, prevent
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    types:
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    make unnecessary, save
    make unnecessary an expenditure or effort
    avert, avoid, debar, deflect, fend off, forefend, forfend, head off, obviate, stave off, ward off
    prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening
    block, blockade, embarrass, hinder, obstruct, stymie, stymy
    hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of
    baffle, bilk, cross, foil, frustrate, queer, scotch, scuttle, spoil, thwart
    hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of
    block, halt, kibosh, stop
    stop from happening or developing
    stonewall
    obstruct or hinder any discussion
    disappoint, let down
    fail to meet the hopes or expectations of
    embargo
    prevent commerce
    filibuster
    obstruct deliberately by delaying
    check
    block or impede (a player from the opposing team) in ice hockey
    hang
    prevent from reaching a verdict, of a jury
    bottleneck
    slow down or impede by creating an obstruction
    dash
    destroy or break
    short-circuit
    hamper the progress of; impede
    ruin
    destroy or cause to fail
    stay
    stop a judicial process
  2. verb
    act in advance of; deal with ahead of time
    synonyms: anticipate, counter, foresee
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    type of:
    act, move
    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)