adjective or noun
pre·​ven·​ta·​tive | \ pri-ˈven-tə-tiv How to pronounce preventative (audio) \

Definition of preventative

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Examples of preventative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

While the Anti-Chafe Stick works as a preventative measure, the Anti-Chafe Ointment is ideal for folks who are already feeling the effects of skin friction. Marci Robin, Allure, "Loey Lane's New Brand Love AnyBody Launches Affordable Body-Care Products at Target," 4 Apr. 2019 Subscribe to get warnings for imminent dangers, preventative instructions, evacuation directions, urgent safety alerts, access to essential resources, critical transit and utility outages, etc. Mary Lou Cruz,, "Davie area events July 18-28," 14 July 2018 Security measures must be preventative, not reactive. Aubrey Nagle,, "Cosby paid accuser $3.4M, Temple neighbors balk at community center 'bribe' | Morning Newsletter," 10 Apr. 2018 The District is committed to promoting anti-bullying preventative strategies to ensure that each student is provided a safe learning environment and, to that end, has sponsored numerous anti-bullying initiatives. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Tearful fifth-grader asks for help against bully: ‘I have been threatened to get shot in the head by an AK-47.’," 13 June 2018 Fireplace charcoal dissolved in warm milk was a prebinge preventative in Victorian London. Brian P. Kelly, WSJ, "‘Hungover’ Review: There’s Got to Be a Morning After," 9 Nov. 2018 Later, Callie discovers that Jude is taking pre-exposure prophylaxis(PrEP), a preventative medication for HIV negative individuals. Rebecca Farley,, "The Beginning Of The End: The Fosters Series Finale, Part 1," 5 June 2018 Bottom line: always take preventative measures, like using protection and avoid douching. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "What Are the Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis and How Do I Know if I Have It?," 18 Sep. 2018 Use up to three times a week, morning or night, during a breakout or as a preventative measure. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Here’s How to Get Clearer Skin in 15 Minutes or Less," 23 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preventative.' 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 preventative

1655, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for preventative

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for preventative

The first known use of preventative was in 1655

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More Definitions for preventative


adjective or noun
pre·​ven·​ta·​tive | \ pri-ˈvent-ət-iv How to pronounce preventative (audio) \

Medical Definition of preventative

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More from Merriam-Webster on preventative

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with preventative

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for preventative

Spanish Central: Translation of preventative

Nglish: Translation of preventative for Spanish Speakers

Comments on preventative

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


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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