Top 43 Slang For Prevent – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to staying safe and avoiding trouble, having the right words at your disposal can make all the difference. From everyday situations to more serious matters, knowing the latest slang for prevent can help you navigate any scenario with confidence. Our team at Fluentslang has put together a list of the top slang words and phrases that will empower you to protect yourself and others. Get ready to level up your prevention game and stay one step ahead of the game!

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1. Block

To block means to prevent something from happening or to obstruct its progress. It can refer to physical barriers or figurative actions that hinder or impede.

  • For example, “I blocked the door to keep the dog from running out.”
  • In a sports context, a player might say, “I blocked the shot to prevent the opposing team from scoring.”
  • A person might say, “I blocked their number to avoid receiving any more annoying calls.”

2. Foil

To foil means to frustrate or prevent someone from achieving their intended goal or plan. It implies actively working against someone’s efforts.

  • For instance, “I managed to foil their attempt to steal my wallet.”
  • In a spy movie, a character might say, “We need to foil the villain’s evil plot.”
  • A person might say, “I foiled their plans by revealing their secrets.”

3. Thwart

To thwart means to obstruct or hinder someone or something from achieving its intended purpose or goal. It implies actively working against someone’s efforts.

  • For example, “I thwarted their attempt to cheat on the exam.”
  • In a heist movie, a character might say, “We need to thwart the security system to steal the diamond.”
  • A person might say, “I thwarted their plans by exposing their lies.”

4. Hinder

To hinder means to impede or slow down the progress or development of something or someone. It implies creating obstacles or difficulties.

  • For instance, “The bad weather hindered our travel plans.”
  • In a business context, a manager might say, “We need to remove any obstacles that hinder productivity.”
  • A person might say, “Her fear of failure hindered her from pursuing her dreams.”

5. Deter

To deter means to discourage or dissuade someone from doing something by creating fear, doubt, or uncertainty about the consequences.

  • For example, “The high price tag deterred me from buying the luxury car.”
  • In a crime prevention context, a police officer might say, “We aim to deter criminals by increasing police presence.”
  • A person might say, “The negative reviews deterred me from watching that movie.”

6. Stop in its tracks

This phrase means to abruptly stop or prevent something from progressing further.

  • For example, “The quick thinking of the security guard stopped the thief in his tracks.”
  • A person might say, “I had to stop that negative thought in its tracks before it consumed me.”
  • In a discussion about a potential problem, someone might suggest, “We need to find a solution to stop this issue in its tracks.”

7. Nip in the bud

To nip something in the bud means to stop or address a problem or issue before it becomes bigger or more serious.

  • For instance, a teacher might say, “I noticed the student’s disruptive behavior and decided to nip it in the bud.”
  • In a conversation about a potential conflict, someone might suggest, “Let’s address this issue now and nip it in the bud before it escalates.”
  • A parent might say, “I noticed my child was developing a bad habit and wanted to nip it in the bud before it became ingrained.”

8. Put a stop to

This phrase means to bring an end or halt to something.

  • For example, “The new regulations put a stop to illegal dumping in the area.”
  • In a discussion about a harmful practice, someone might say, “We need to put a stop to this behavior before it causes more harm.”
  • A manager might tell their team, “We need to put a stop to the inefficiencies in our processes and find ways to improve.”

To head off means to prevent or intercept something before it happens or becomes a problem.

  • For instance, “I left early to head off any potential traffic on the way to the airport.”
  • In a conversation about a disagreement, someone might suggest, “Let’s have a meeting to address the concerns and head off any misunderstandings.”
  • A person might say, “I’m going to call the bank to head off any issues with my account.”

10. Ward off

To ward off means to defend against or repel something, typically a threat or danger.

  • For example, “He used bug spray to ward off mosquitoes during the camping trip.”
  • In a discussion about staying healthy, someone might say, “Eating a balanced diet can help ward off illnesses.”
  • A person might suggest, “Wearing a hat and sunglasses can help ward off the sun’s harmful rays.”

11. Curb

To control or limit something, typically in order to prevent it from becoming excessive or out of control.

  • For example, “We need to curb our spending in order to save money.”
  • In a discussion about reducing pollution, someone might suggest, “We should curb our use of single-use plastics.”
  • A parent might say to their child, “You need to curb your temper and learn to control your emotions.”

12. Check

To stop or prevent something from happening.

  • For instance, “The doctor wants to check your blood pressure to ensure it’s within a healthy range.”
  • In a conversation about preventing accidents, someone might say, “Always check your blind spot before changing lanes.”
  • A person might tell their friend, “Check yourself before you say something you’ll regret.”

13. Throttle

To control or restrict the flow or speed of something.

  • For example, “The government implemented measures to throttle the spread of misinformation.”
  • In a discussion about internet bandwidth, someone might say, “My internet provider throttles my connection speed during peak hours.”
  • A person might warn their friend, “Don’t let your anger throttle your ability to think clearly.”

14. Quash

To suppress or put an end to something, typically through legal or authoritative means.

  • For instance, “The court quashed the defendant’s appeal and upheld the original ruling.”
  • In a conversation about rumors, someone might say, “Let’s quash these false statements before they spread further.”
  • A teacher might tell their students, “We need to quash any form of bullying in our school.”

15. Shut down

To put an end to something or prevent it from continuing.

  • For example, “The company had to shut down production due to a lack of funding.”
  • In a discussion about a controversial event, someone might suggest, “Let’s shut down any hateful comments on social media.”
  • A parent might say to their child, “If you don’t finish your homework, I’ll have to shut down your video game time.”

16. Bar

To prevent or obstruct something from happening. The term “bar” is often used to indicate a physical barrier or restriction.

  • For example, “The security guard barred the entrance to the club.”
  • In a discussion about road safety, someone might say, “Barriers are installed on highways to bar vehicles from crossing into oncoming traffic.”
  • A person might warn, “You should bar your windows to prevent burglaries.”

17. Stave off

To delay or prevent something from happening, especially something negative. The term “stave off” implies taking action to keep something at bay or ward it off.

  • For instance, “Eating a healthy diet can help stave off illness.”
  • In a discussion about financial planning, someone might advise, “Saving money can stave off future financial difficulties.”
  • A person might say, “I’m doing everything I can to stave off boredom during quarantine.”

18. Repel

To drive away or keep something at a distance. The term “repel” often implies a forceful action to prevent something from approaching or affecting.

  • For example, “The strong smell of the repellent spray repelled mosquitoes.”
  • In a discussion about personal boundaries, someone might say, “Setting clear boundaries can repel unwanted advances.”
  • A person might warn, “Wearing bright colors while hiking can help repel animals.”

19. Intercept

To catch or seize something before it reaches its intended destination. The term “intercept” implies taking action to prevent something from proceeding as planned.

  • For instance, “The police intercepted the package containing illegal drugs.”
  • In a discussion about sports, someone might say, “The defender intercepted the pass and ran for a touchdown.”
  • A person might suggest, “We should intercept the email before it reaches the wrong recipient.”

20. Nullify

To render something ineffective or cancel its effect. The term “nullify” often implies invalidating or making something void.

  • For example, “The court nullified the contract due to a breach of terms.”
  • In a discussion about voting rights, someone might argue, “Strict voter ID laws can nullify the voices of marginalized communities.”
  • A person might say, “The antivirus software nullified the threat and protected the computer.”

21. Counteract

To take action to reduce or eliminate the effect of something.

  • For example, “Taking vitamin C can help counteract the symptoms of a cold.”
  • In a discussion about climate change, someone might say, “We need to counteract the carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy.”
  • A doctor might advise, “You can counteract the negative effects of sitting all day by taking breaks to stretch and move around.”

22. Preempt

To take action before an event or problem occurs in order to prevent it from happening.

  • For instance, “The company decided to preempt any negative publicity by issuing a statement before the news broke.”
  • In a conversation about security measures, someone might suggest, “We should preempt potential threats by implementing stronger access controls.”
  • A teacher might say, “I try to preempt behavioral issues in the classroom by setting clear expectations and addressing any concerns early on.”

23. Put the kibosh on

To put an end to something or prevent it from happening.

  • For example, “The rain put the kibosh on our plans for a picnic.”
  • In a discussion about a controversial proposal, someone might argue, “We need to put the kibosh on this idea before it gains any momentum.”
  • A coach might say, “Our team needs to put the kibosh on the opposing team’s scoring attempts.”

24. Halt in its tracks

To stop something or someone from progressing or continuing.

  • For instance, “The sudden noise halted the conversation in its tracks.”
  • In a conversation about a project, someone might say, “We need to address this issue now before it halts our progress.”
  • A parent might warn their child, “If you don’t finish your homework, it will halt your plans to go out with friends.”

25. Obstruct

To hinder or prevent something from happening or progressing smoothly.

  • For example, “The fallen tree obstructed the path and prevented us from continuing.”
  • In a discussion about government policies, someone might argue, “These regulations only obstruct innovation and economic growth.”
  • A driver might complain, “The construction work is obstructing traffic and causing delays.”

26. Inhibit

To prevent or restrict the progress, movement, or action of something or someone.

  • For instance, “The bad weather inhibited our ability to go outside.”
  • In a discussion about productivity, one might say, “Distractions can inhibit your ability to focus and get work done.”
  • A coach might advise a player, “Don’t let fear inhibit you from taking risks and trying new things.”

27. Avoid

To stay away from or prevent something from happening.

  • For example, “I always avoid rush hour traffic by leaving early.”
  • A person discussing healthy eating might say, “I try to avoid processed foods and opt for fresh, whole ingredients.”
  • Another might advise, “To avoid getting sick, wash your hands frequently and avoid close contact with sick individuals.”

28. Suppress

To prevent or stop something from happening or being expressed.

  • For instance, “The government tried to suppress information about the protests.”
  • In a conversation about emotions, one might say, “Suppressing your feelings can lead to negative mental health outcomes.”
  • A person discussing free speech might argue, “Censorship suppresses the exchange of ideas and limits intellectual growth.”

29. Disrupt

To interrupt or disturb the normal functioning or order of something.

  • For example, “The loud noise disrupted the meeting.”
  • A person discussing technology might say, “Automation has the potential to disrupt various industries.”
  • Another might warn, “Cyberattacks can disrupt essential services and cause widespread chaos.”

30. Forbid

To officially or legally prohibit or prevent something from happening.

  • For instance, “The sign forbids smoking in this area.”
  • In a discussion about parenting, one might say, “I forbid my children from watching violent movies.”
  • A person discussing laws might argue, “Banning certain substances does not necessarily forbid their use.”

31. Prohibit

To officially or legally forbid something from happening or being done.

  • For example, a sign might read, “Smoking is prohibited in this area.”
  • A teacher might tell their students, “Cell phones are prohibited during class.”
  • A law might state, “The sale of alcohol is prohibited to individuals under the age of 21.”

32. Cripple

To severely limit or impair someone or something’s ability to function or succeed.

  • For instance, a bad injury might cripple a person’s mobility.
  • A setback might cripple a business’s chances of success.
  • A lack of funding might cripple a project’s progress.
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33. Stifle

To prevent or restrain something from happening or being expressed.

  • For example, stifling a yawn might be considered polite in certain situations.
  • A parent might stifle their frustration to avoid upsetting their child.
  • A government might stifle dissent to maintain control.

34. Arrest

To stop or prevent something from progressing or continuing.

  • For instance, a sudden noise might arrest someone’s attention.
  • A new discovery might arrest the development of a current theory.
  • A police officer might arrest a suspect to prevent them from escaping.

35. Douse

To stop or prevent a fire or flame from burning by pouring liquid or water on it.

  • For example, a person might douse a campfire with water before leaving the area.
  • A firefighter might douse a burning building with foam to extinguish the flames.
  • A person might douse a candle with their fingers to put it out.

36. Repress

To restrain, hold back, or prevent the expression of something, such as emotions, desires, or memories.

  • For instance, someone might say, “He tries to repress his anger, but it always comes out eventually.”
  • In a discussion about psychological defense mechanisms, a therapist might explain, “Repression is a way the mind protects itself from painful or traumatic memories.”
  • A person reflecting on their past might admit, “I spent years repressing my true emotions, but now I’m learning to express myself more freely.”

37. Deny

To refuse to admit or accept something, or to prevent something from happening.

  • For example, someone might say, “I can’t deny that I made a mistake.”
  • In a debate about climate change, a person might argue, “We can’t deny the evidence of rising temperatures and melting ice caps.”
  • A parent might say to their child, “I’m sorry, but I have to deny your request to stay up late tonight.”

38. Halt

To bring to a stop or prevent from continuing.

  • For instance, someone might say, “The construction work halted due to bad weather.”
  • In a discussion about a company’s financial troubles, a business analyst might say, “They need to take immediate action to halt their declining profits.”
  • A person might warn, “If you see a red light, you need to halt your vehicle.”

39. Restrain

To prevent someone or something from doing something or to keep under control.

  • For example, someone might say, “I had to restrain myself from eating the whole cake.”
  • In a conversation about disciplining children, a parent might say, “Sometimes, you have to restrain them to keep them safe.”
  • A police officer might say, “I had to restrain the suspect to prevent them from escaping.”

40. Interfere with

To prevent something from happening smoothly or to intervene in a situation.

  • For instance, someone might say, “Please don’t interfere with my plans.”
  • In a discussion about relationships, a person might say, “Jealousy can interfere with trust.”
  • A teacher might tell their students, “Talking during a test can interfere with other students’ concentration.”

41. Hamper

To hamper means to hinder or obstruct progress or movement. It is often used to describe actions or situations that slow down or impede the achievement of a goal.

  • For example, “The heavy rain hampered our progress during the hike.”
  • In a sports context, one might say, “The opposing team’s defense hampered our ability to score.”
  • A person discussing work challenges might say, “A lack of resources can hamper productivity in the office.”

42. Impede

To impede means to obstruct or block progress or movement. It is often used to describe actions or situations that create obstacles or difficulties.

  • For instance, “The fallen tree impeded traffic on the road.”
  • In a business context, one might say, “Bureaucratic procedures can impede innovation within an organization.”
  • A person discussing personal growth might say, “Negative self-talk can impede one’s ability to achieve their goals.”

43. Paralyze

To paralyze means to disable or render someone or something unable to move or function. It is often used metaphorically to describe situations where progress or action is completely halted.

  • For example, “Fear of failure can paralyze someone from taking risks.”
  • In a medical context, one might say, “A spinal injury can paralyze a person from the neck down.”
  • A person discussing decision-making might say, “Analysis paralysis can paralyze one’s ability to make a choice.”