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Circumvent vs Prevent - What's the difference?

circumvent | prevent |

In transitive terms the difference between circumvent and prevent

is that circumvent is to outwit or outsmart while prevent is to stop; to keep (from happening).

circumvent

English

Verb

(en verb)
  • to avoid or get around something; to bypass
  • to surround or besiege
  • to outwit or outsmart
  • prevent

    English

    Alternative forms

    * (archaic)

    Verb

    (en verb)
  • To stop; to keep (from happening).
  • I brushed my teeth to prevent them from going yellow.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , date=October 1 , author=Tom Fordyce , title=Rugby World Cup 2011: England 16-12 Scotland , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=Scotland must now hope Georgia produce a huge upset and beat Argentina by at least eight points in Sunday's final Pool B match to prevent them failing to make the last eight for the first time in World Cup history.}}
  • * 1897 , Henry James, What Maisie Knew :
  • ‘I think you must be mad, and she shall not have a glimpse of it while I'm here to prevent !’
  • (obsolete) To come before; to precede.
  • * Bible, 1 Thess. iv. 15
  • We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
  • * Book of Common Prayer
  • We pray thee that thy grace may always prevent and follow us.
  • * Prior
  • Then had I come, preventing Sheba's queen.
  • (obsolete) To outdo, surpass.
  • * 1596 , Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene , IV.i:
  • With that he put his spurres vnto his steed, / With speare in rest, and toward him did fare, / Like shaft out of a bow preuenting speed.
  • (obsolete) To be beforehand with; to anticipate.
  • * Alexander Pope
  • their ready guilt preventing thy commands

    Synonyms

    * See also

    Derived terms

    * preventative * prevention * preventive