pre·​clin·​i·​cal | \(ˌ)prē-ˈkli-ni-kəl \

Definition of preclinical 

1 : of, relating to, or concerned with the period preceding clinical manifestations

2 : of, relating to, or being the period in medical or dental education preceding the clinical study of medicine or dentistry

3 : occurring prior to clinical testing a preclinical animal study of a new therapy

Examples of preclinical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The condition happens in five different stages, starting with what’s known as preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Korin Miller, SELF, "Are There Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease to Watch For?," 28 Nov. 2018 This first stage is called preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. Korin Miller, SELF, "10 Facts About Alzheimer's Disease You Should Know," 28 Sep. 2018 Bender is working to show how his strategy for inhibiting the protein is having success in preclinical trials of mice with multiple sclerosis. Rebecca Lurye,, "Two Yale Researchers Win Blavatnik Grants For The Second Time," 12 May 2018 That day, panel members heard presentations on the drug's preclinical and clinical data from agency staff and AstraZeneca in Cambridge, U.K., its maker and one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Hidden conflicts? Pharma payments to FDA advisers after drug approvals spark ethical concerns," 5 July 2018 In preclinical coursework, medical students learn in detail about obesity, diabetes, and the immense role diet plays in health and disease. Suhas Gondi, STAT, "Med schools need to get with the times on medical marijuana, chronic pain, and more," 24 Apr. 2018 There is growing evidence, however, that Alzheimer’s disease begins its attack on the brain many years before such symptoms appear, leading researchers to suggest that there is a syndrome called preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Denise C. Park,, "5 myths about Alzheimer's disease," 18 June 2018 Each paper is based on preclinical research, and scientists said the findings were hardly a death knell for the nascent field of CRISPR. Damian Garde, STAT, "CRISPR scientists are in for the long haul. Wall Street is less patient," 11 June 2018 The money will go to adding staff and advancing drugs in preclinical programs to clinical trials. Bradley J. Fikes,, "San Diego biotech startup Escient raises $40 million," 9 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of preclinical

1876, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preclinical

Share preclinical

Statistics for preclinical

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preclinical

The first known use of preclinical was in 1876

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for preclinical


pre·​clin·​i·​cal | \(ˈ)prē-ˈklin-i-kəl \

Medical Definition of preclinical 

1a : of, relating to, concerned with, or being the period preceding clinical manifestations the preclinical stage of diabetes mellitus

b : occurring prior to a clinical trial preclinical animal testing to assess a drug's safety

2 : of, relating to, or being the period in medical or dental education preceding the clinical study of medicine or dentistry the preclinical years specifically : of or relating to the early period of prescribed medical or dental study devoted to the basic sciences (as anatomy, physiology, and pathology) preclinical studies

3 : of, relating to, or being a science basic to medicine research in the preclinical sciences

Comments on preclinical

What made you want to look up preclinical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!