To preclude something is to prevent it from happening. A muzzle precludes a dog from biting.

This is a very formal word, but it has a simple meaning: when something is precluded, it can’t happen. See the prefix pre in preclude and in prevent? It is signaling that these words are all about things done before another action would happen — to make it impossible. Staying away from water precludes the possibility of drowning, though it also precludes any chance of having fun swimming.

Definitions of preclude
  1. verb

    make impossible, especially beforehand

    close out, rule out
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    type of:

    eliminate, obviate, rid of

    do away with

  2. verb

    keep from happening or arising; make impossible

    “Your role in the projects
    precludes your involvement in the competitive project”
    forbid, foreclose, forestall, preempt, prevent
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    show 16 types…
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    make unnecessary, save

    make unnecessary an expenditure or effort
    avert, avoid, debar, deflect, fend off, forefend, forfend, head off, obviate, stave off, ward off

    prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening
    block, blockade, embarrass, hinder, obstruct, stymie, stymy

    hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of
    baffle, bilk, cross, foil, frustrate, queer, scotch, scuttle, spoil, thwart

    hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of
    block, halt, kibosh, stop

    stop from happening or developing

    obstruct or hinder any discussion
    disappoint, let down

    fail to meet the hopes or expectations of

    prevent commerce

    obstruct deliberately by delaying

    block or impede (a player from the opposing team) in ice hockey

    prevent from reaching a verdict, of a jury

    slow down or impede by creating an obstruction

    destroy or break

    hamper the progress of; impede

    destroy or cause to fail

    stop a judicial process

Word Family