adjective or noun
pre·​ven·​ta·​tive | \pri-ˈven-tə-tiv \

Definition of preventative 

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of preventative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Foley’s focus is on basic county services, like bulk trash and infrastructure, particularly by emphasizing regular preventative maintenance and planning. Libby Solomon,, "Meet the council candidates in central Baltimore County," 12 June 2018 In a copy of a letter sent to patients this morning, UH said their failed tank had experienced problems with the liquid nitrogen auto-fill function, and needed preventative maintenance. Julie Washington,, "UH freezer might have come from Michigan company with history of malfunctions," 27 Mar. 2018 The councilman is calling on the administration to develop a plan to do preventative maintenance on the system rather than simply reacting to emergencies. Robert Rhoden,, "Councilman calls for better upkeep of Tammany Utilities," 10 Jan. 2018 Items on the wish list include Martingale collars, 4- and 6-foot nylon leashes, durable chew toys such as Kong toys, Frontline flea and tick preventative and collapsible wire crates. Grace Wong,, "Big Gay Ice Cream comes to town, plus other things to eat, drink and do this weekend," 20 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of preventative

1655, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preventative

Share preventative

Statistics for preventative

Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preventative

The first known use of preventative was in 1655

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for preventative


adjective or noun
pre·​ven·​ta·​tive | \pri-ˈvent-ət-iv \

Medical Definition of preventative 

Keep scrolling for more

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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!