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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 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.