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Alternative forms[edit]


  • (US) IPA(key): /pɹɪˈveɪ.lɪŋ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪlɪŋ


prevailing (comparative more prevailing, superlative most prevailing)

  1. Predominant; of greatest force.
    The prevailing opinion was for additional planning time.
  2. Prevalent, common, widespread.
    • 1829, James Annesley, Sketches of the Most Prevalent Diseases of India, page 247:
      Fever and dysentery are the most prevailing diseases in this division, more particularly the latter, which is one of the most destructive amongst the troops in India, and particularly so in the European constitution.
    • 1832, David Brewster, “Spain”, in The Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, volume 17, page 371:
      One of the most prevailing defects in this people is their invincible indolence, and hatred of labour, which has, at all times, paralysed the government of their best princes, and impeded the success of their most brilliant enterprises.
    • 1940, Australian Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, Official Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia No. 33 - 1940, page 49:
      In Sydney at 9 am, by far the most prevailing wind is a westerly, particularly during the colder two-thirds of the year.
    • 1941 November, “Notes and News: The Centenary of Cook's”, in Railway Magazine, page 513:
      This world-wide travel organisation recently attained its centenary, and under happier conditions than those prevailing at the present time the event would doubtless have been celebrated worthily.


Derived terms[edit]




  1. present participle and gerund of prevail