Prevail means to successfully persuade someone of something. If you were a Presidential advisor and you convinced him to make a National Day of Pet Appreciation, then you prevailed upon him to recognize pets.

Prevail can be used for different kinds of success. If you prevail upon someone, you have influence on them. If you prevail over someone, you win. Say you’re a big fan of a losing team. You might cheer, “Despite all odds, we will prevail!” To use prevail, there has to be some kind of contest or conflict. That could be internal, like when you have a pile of homework to do, but your desire to play video games prevails over your discipline.

Definitions of prevail
  1. verb
    be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance
    synonyms: dominate, predominate, reign, rule
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    prevail over
    be central or dominant
    outbalance, outweigh, overbalance, preponderate
    weigh more heavily
  2. verb
    prove superior
    “The champion prevailed, though it was a hard fight”
    synonyms: triumph
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    type of:
    be the winner in a contest or competition; be victorious
  3. verb
    continue to exist
    synonyms: die hard, endure, persist, run
    occur persistently
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    carry over
    transfer or persist from one stage or sphere of activity to another
    have a long or continuing effect
    type of:
    exist over a prolonged period of time
  4. verb
    use persuasion successfully
    “He prevailed upon her to visit his parents”
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    type of:
    cause somebody to adopt a certain position, belief, or course of action; twist somebody's arm
  5. verb
    be valid, applicable, or true
    synonyms: hold, obtain
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    type of:
    be, exist
    have an existence, be extant
Word Family

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