adjuvant

adjective
ad·​ju·​vant | \ˈa-jə-vənt \

Definition of adjuvant 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : serving to aid or contribute : auxiliary

2 : enhancing the effectiveness of medical treatment Retinoids also seem to be useful as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of psoriasis, and they may induce regression of premalignant lesions, including actinic keratoses.— Robert S. Stern specifically : of, relating to, or being treatment administered following primary cancer treatment to enhance the outcome of primary treatment adjuvant chemotherapy following surgery … women who choose this extensive surgery live no longer than women who choose lumpectomy (with or without adjuvant radiation) and frequent check-ups — Susan S. Weed — compare neoadjuvant

adjuvant

noun

Definition of adjuvant (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that helps or facilitates: such as

a : an ingredient (as in a prescription or a solution) that modifies the action of the principal ingredient

b : something (such as a drug or method) that enhances the effectiveness of medical treatment used chemotherapy as an adjuvant to surgery

c : a substance (such as one added to a vaccine) enhancing the immune response to an antigen

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Did You Know?

Adjective

Things that are adjuvant rarely get top billing—they're the supporting players, not the stars. But that doesn't mean they're not important. An adjuvant medicine, for example, can have a powerful healing effect when teamed up with another medicine or curative treatment. Adjuvant descends from the Latin verb adjuvare ("to aid"), which also gave English the nouns coadjutor ("assistant") and aid. These days, adjuvant tends to turn up most often in medical contexts, but it can also be used in the general sense of "serving to aid." Likewise, the noun adjuvant can mean "a drug or method that enhances the effectiveness of medical treatment" or simply "one that helps or facilitates."

Examples of adjuvant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

These findings led a National Institutes of Health consensus panel to recommend adjuvant chemotherapy for most patients, a practice that has contributed to declining breast cancer mortality. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Tens of Thousands of Early Breast Cancer Patients May Not Need Chemo After All," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Both countries had used Pandemrix, a vaccine made in Germany by GSK that contained the adjuvant AS03. Helen Branswell, STAT, "A stubborn medical mystery: Was pandemic flu vaccine tied to an increase in narcolepsy cases?," 5 July 2018 But Ontario, which used a different vaccine with the AS03 adjuvant, did not, according to a study there. Helen Branswell, STAT, "A stubborn medical mystery: Was pandemic flu vaccine tied to an increase in narcolepsy cases?," 5 July 2018 Back in the late 1980s, researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry injected the right hind paw of a rat with Freund’s complete adjuvant, a compound that triggers inflammation, as part of a test of chronic pain treatments. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Building a Better Painkiller," 11 May 2018 Stein, who is now chair of the anesthesiology department at the Charité hospital and Free University of Berlin, has tested NFEPP on rats inflamed with Freund’s complete adjuvant, and the initial results are encouraging. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Building a Better Painkiller," 11 May 2018 What makes Shingrix so much better is the inclusion of a substance called an adjuvant that boosts the body’s immune response to the vaccine. Jane E. Brody, New York Times, "Why You Should Get the New Shingles Vaccine," 9 Apr. 2018 The study claimed that aluminum adjuvants in the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil caused behavioral changes in mice. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Study claims vaccines-autism link; scientists find fake data, have rage stroke," 11 Oct. 2017 This vaccine uses a new adjuvant [an immune-system booster]. Washington Post, "What you need to know about the new shingles vaccine," 28 Oct. 2017 Most adjuvants are not compatible with the microneedle patch, Prausnitz says. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "Needle-Free Patch Makes Vaccination as Easy as Putting on a Band-Aid," 17 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adjuvant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adjuvant

Adjective

1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1583, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adjuvant

Adjective

borrowed from Latin adjuvant-, adjuvans, present participle of adjuvāre "to help, aid, facilitate" — more at aid entry 1

Noun

borrowed from Medieval Latin adjuvant-, adjuvans, going back to Latin, present participle of adjuvāre "to help, aid, facilitate" — more at aid entry 1

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Time Traveler for adjuvant

The first known use of adjuvant was in 1574

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More Definitions for adjuvant

adjuvant

adjective
ad·​ju·​vant | \ˈaj-ə-vənt \

Medical Definition of adjuvant 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : serving to aid or contribute

2 : assisting in the prevention, amelioration, or cure of disease adjuvant chemotherapy following surgery

adjuvant

noun

Medical Definition of adjuvant (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that helps or facilitates: as

a : an ingredient (as in a prescription or solution) that facilitates or modifies the action of the principal ingredient the beneficial activity of the spray is enhanced by adjuvants

b : something (as a drug or method) that enhances the effectiveness of a medical treatment used chemotherapy as an adjuvant to surgery

c : a substance enhancing the immune response to an antigen

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More from Merriam-Webster on adjuvant

Nglish: Translation of adjuvant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adjuvant for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about adjuvant

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