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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 ?
Since preventing disease is more important than preventing infection and to have an immediate, substantial decrease in TB cases is desirable, our results imply that postexposure vaccines would be more beneficial than preexposure vaccines.
Also important in preventing pressure ulcers are proper bedding and support surfaces.
Companies that buy these lists must look carefully at the standards employed by the list compilers to make sure they are not blocking legitimate email, and therefore preventing legitimate business.
Monitoring fluoride sources by parents can reduce the occurrence of white spots while preventing early tooth decay.
For others, the practice remains a regular part of everyday life, promoting effective bladder drainage and preventing complications.
School counselors are only exposed to legal liability if they fail to exercise reasonable care in preventing foreseeable school violence (Remley & Hermann, 2000).
Preventing replenishment of wetness under the tank by sealing new wetness out is more important than worrying about any moisture trapped under the tank by such a seal.
In response to this issue, CDC has initiated the "Campaign to Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance." The campaign focuses on four integrated strategies: preventing infection, diagnosing and treating infection effectively, using antimicrobials wisely, and preventing transmission.
A strong resident-service model with specific programs is ultimately needed if we are to focus on preventing lawsuits and not merely taking steps in defending lawsuits when they do occur.
The second category includes options for preventing and controlling violence based on school management.
One winner that especially stood out was Aspen Publishers research editor Shawn Beard's "Preventing School Tragedies." Brown said:
469(b) functions as a statutory "traffic cop," preventing any provision of the Code outside of Sec.
This research has far-ranging implications for preventing flu and other infectious diseases, for gene therapy, and for understanding the ways flu strains mutate, spread, and cause widespread sickness and death.
It is imperative that education, public health, and other child welfare agencies fashion rational policies and strategies for preventing crime and increasing student safety at school.
In older people and those with certain chronic illnesses, the flu shot often is less effective in preventing flu than in reducing symptoms and the risk of serious illness and death.