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a stumble may prevent a fall

proverb A setback or obstacle may ultimately prevent worse problems. A: "Maybe it's a good thing you closed the business when you did—you would have lost so much more money in this recession." B: "That is true. They do say that a stumble may prevent a fall." I know it's hard to think of it this way, but a stumble may prevent a fall. Yes, you were hoping your script would get picked up by a studio, but maybe it's better that that didn't happen right now—they'd be liable to exploit a young unknown like yourself. Well, try not to dwell on the adversity we're facing—a stumble may prevent a fall, after all.
See also: fall, may, prevent, stumble

prevent (someone or something) from (doing something)

To stop a person or thing from being able to do something. Something is preventing the machine from turning off, so the motor is getting overheated. The government is trying to prevent us from exercising our right to free speech.
See also: prevent
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

prevent someone from doing something

to keep someone from doing something. You can't prevent me from doing it! We must try to prevent her from going back there.
See also: prevent
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Connie Walker has been appointed to the position of CFO of PREVENT. Walker has been instrumental in driving the controls that have allowed the company to expand its footprint in the marketplace.
However, they said their findings do point towards possible therapies based on the oil to prevent brain cancer from occurring.
oleic acid prevents a cell protein, known as MSI2, from stopping production of miR-7.
"It is perverse that Prevent has become a more significant source of grievance in affected communities than the police and ministerial powers that are exercised [-] The lack of transparency in the operation of Prevent encourages rumor and mistrust to spread and to fester."
True or False: Helmets, neck rolls, or cowboy collars prevent axial loading.
Incorporating some simple design techniques into the building can help prevent future problems from the beginning.
One challenge is that the virus attacks the immune response, yet vaccines rely on a strong immune response to prevent infection--a kind of medical catch-22.
The number of cases that must be detected by microbiologic screening to prevent 1 secondary case was most affected by varying the number of contacts per patient and the secondary attack rate (Figure).
Ingestion of electrolyte-containing sports drinks does not prevent the development of EAH in athletes who drink to excess (1,22,32,62).
This PA will stimulate and build research against airborne chemical threats that affect the upper and lower respiratory tract, and will suggest potential therapy to prevent or limit development of pulmonary edema, which is a major complication of airway chemical irritation.
In December, King was invited to tell Josie's story to help launch IHI's 100,000 Lives Campaign, which seeks to prevent 100,000 patient deaths within an 18-month time span.
It is also a good idea to prevent an OIL from forming when luting veneers.
(2) The scientists were testing whether the vitamin helped prevent heart attacks, strokes, or cancer.