Prevented From: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
December 22, 2023

The term "prevented from" is commonly used when describing a situation where something is stopped or blocked from happening. This phrase is versatile and can appear in both formal situations like legal documents or informal conversations among friends. It can refer to both physical actions and abstract situations.

In short:

  • It describes a situation where something is stopped or blocked from occurring.
  • It can be used in various settings, from formal to informal, and can relate to physical actions or conceptual matters.

What Does "Prevented From" Mean?

When you hear "prevented from," it's usually about stopping something from taking place. This can range from stopping someone from entering a building to blocking a law from being passed. For example, you might say, "I was prevented from missing my flight thanks to a timely call," or "She was prevented from making a poor decision by her friend's advice.

Let's look at its main meanings and when to use it:

  • It refers to stopping or blocking an action or event.
  • You'll often use this phrase to highlight that something was avoided or hindered.
  • It comes up in various situations like legal issues, everyday life, and work-related matters.
  • It can describe physical actions like being prevented from entering a place or more abstract things like being prevented from making a bad decision.
  • Similar phrases include "stopped from," "blocked from," and "held back from."

Where Does "Prevented From" Come From?

The phrase "prevented from" comes from the word "prevent," which has evolved in form and meaning. "Prevent" derives from the Latin "praeventus," the past participle of "praevenire," which itself combines "prae" (meaning "before") and "venire" (meaning "to come"). In the past, "prevent" meant "to act or arrive before another" or "to anticipate." However, its meaning has gradually shifted to the current understanding of "to stop or hinder something from happening."

10 Examples of "Prevented From" in Sentences

To help you get when to use "prevented from," let's go over some examples from various situations:

  • The team deferred to the coach's decision, which prevented them from making a risky play.
  • She was prevented from failing the test by studying hard the night before.
  • The dog was prevented from running away by a sturdy fence.
  • The army was prevented from burning boats, forcing them to find another retreat strategy.
  • "No offense meant," he said, but it prevented him from future invites.
  • Firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to other houses.
  • Committing to the job prevented him from taking a vacation.
  • A good antivirus prevented him from getting a computer virus.
  • He was prevented from standing up when he realized his shoelaces were tied together.
  • The lifeguard prevented the kids from swimming in the deep end.

Examples of "Prevented From" in Pop Culture

This phrase is also often heard in movies, TV shows, and books when someone or something is stopped from doing something.

Let's see some examples:

  • In the movie "Unplanned," a music label representative expressed support for the film but stated she "was prevented from licensing any music from a half dozen of the largest music companies."
  • Michael Punke, the author of the novel The Revenant, "was prevented from talking about Alejandro González Iñárritu’s movie adaptation because he works as an ambassador to the World Trade Organisation."
  • The article "Examples Of Music Censorship" discusses how artists are often "prevented from being able to spread their messages and teenagers are not able to express themselves with their music."

Synonyms: Other Ways to Say "Prevented From"

Here are some other phrases you could use instead of "prevented from":

  • Stopped from
  • Blocked from
  • Kept from
  • Hindered from
  • Obstructed from
  • Thwarted from
  • Kept back from
  • Held back from
  • Discouraged from
  • Avoided

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Prevented From":

  • What does "prevented from" mean?

"Prevented from" means to stop someone or something from doing a particular action. It's usually about blocking or keeping something from happening.

  • How can I use "prevented from" in a sentence?

You can use it to talk about stopping an action or event. For example: "She was prevented from missing the bus by waking up early," or "The fence prevented the dog from escaping."

  • Can "prevented from" be used in different contexts?

Yes, you can use "prevented from" in various settings, from casual conversations about daily life to formal discussions about laws or policies.

  • Does it always refer to stopping something bad?

No, it's not always about stopping something bad. Sometimes it could be neutral or even positive, depending on the context. For instance, "The rain prevented them from going on a picnic," doesn't imply that going on a picnic is bad.

  • Is it a common phrase in legal terms?

Yes, "prevented from" is often used in legal contexts to talk about restrictions, such as "He was prevented from leaving the country due to legal issues."

  • Is it a phrase used in medical settings?

Yes, you can find "prevented from" in medical settings, often related to stopping the spread of diseases or avoiding health risks. For example, "Vaccination prevented her from getting the flu."

  • How does it relate to sports?

In sports, "prevented from" is used to talk about blocking or stopping certain actions, like "The goalkeeper prevented the other team from scoring."

  • Does it have any emotional connotation?

"Prevented from" doesn't have an inherent emotional tone but can create emotional context depending on how it's used. For example, "She was prevented from seeing her family," could evoke a sense of sadness.

  • Is the phrase used in safety and precautionary measures?

Yes, "prevented from" is often used in the context of safety, like "The safety harness prevented him from falling."

  • Does it imply that there's always a responsible agent?

Not always. Sometimes it's an event or situation that does the preventing, like "Bad weather prevented the flight from taking off.

Final Thoughts About "Prevented From"

The phrase "prevented from" is useful in a range of situations, helping you talk about stopping actions or events.

Here's a quick recap:

  • It can be used to talk about stopping both good and bad things from happening.
  • You can use it in all kinds of contexts, including legal, medical, and everyday conversation.
  • It doesn't always imply that there's someone responsible for the prevention.
  • The phrase can evoke emotional reactions based on how it's used.

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