“He took the surprise party planning a bit too far in his attempts to forestall their early arrival home.”

What is the best definition of forestall?

Check your answer!

Choice A - To show an inability to move or to take action
Choice B - To act in a way that is counterproductive or harmful
Choice C - To extinguish something or to swiftly put an end to it
Choice D - To act in advance to hinder something from happening


Forestall (verb) – to act in advance in order to prevent or hinder something from happening

GRE pro tips:

You can break down the word forestall into its parts to figure out what it means. First off, you likely recognize the prefix fore- from common words like foresee and forethought; the prefix means “happening before” or “in advance of.” And, you probably know that to stall means to delay, or to put off, something. So, it makes sense that forestall means to stall or prevent in advance, or to act in advance to hinder or stop something from ever happening. Remember that forestalling something doesn’t happen by accident – it takes planning. For instance, you can forestall getting the flu by getting a flu shot, and you can forestall your car stalling by getting it serviced in advance!

Example sentences:

“Leading a healthy lifestyle is the best way to forestall the effects of aging.”

“The ambassador’s request was an obvious attempt to forestall negotiations that he did not want to attend in the first place.”