Pre·vail v. i. [imp. & p. p. Prevailed p. pr. & vb. n. Prevailing.]
1. To overcome; to gain the victory or superiority; to gain the advantage; to have the upper hand, or the mastery; to succeed; -- sometimes with over or against.
When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. --Ex. xvii. 11.
So David prevailed over the Philistine. --1 Sam. xvii. 50.
This kingdom could never prevail against the united power of England. --Swift.
2. To be in force; to have effect, power, or influence; to be predominant; to have currency or prevalence; to obtain; as, the practice prevails this day.
This custom makes the short-sighted bigots, and the warier skeptics, as far as it prevails. --Locke.
3. To persuade or induce; -- with on, upon, or with; as, I prevailedon him to wait.
He was prevailed with to restrain the Earl. --Clarendon.
Prevail upon some judicious friend to be your constant hearer, and allow him the utmost freedom. --Swift.