preventive

adjective
pre·​ven·​tive | \pri-ˈven-tiv \

Definition of preventive 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: devoted to or concerned with prevention : precautionary preventive steps against soil erosion : such as

a : designed or serving to prevent the occurrence of disease preventive medical care

b : undertaken to forestall anticipated hostile action a preventive coup

preventive

noun

Definition of preventive (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that prevents especially : something used to prevent disease

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Other Words from preventive

Adjective

preventively adverb
preventiveness noun

Synonyms for preventive

Synonyms: Adjective

precautionary, preventative, prophylactic

Synonyms: Noun

caution, fail-safe, palladium, precaution, safeguard

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Examples of preventive in a Sentence

Adjective

Farmers are covering their crops as a preventive measure against frost. We'll take whatever preventive action is necessary.

Noun

if people took the simple preventive of frequently washing their hands, the spread of germs could be greatly reduced
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Given the expertise of Amazon, JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway in analyzing data and assessing risks, Gawande will be able to use machine learning software and other technologies to better predict the onset of disease and take preventive measures. Casey Ross, STAT, "As Atul Gawande steps into a risky health CEO role, here are five challenges he faces," 9 July 2018 At the time, ranchers were required to remove any dead animals and undertake just one additional preventive measure from a menu of options, which could be as basic as not turning out to pasture underweight calves that could be easier targets. New York Times, "Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?," 5 July 2018 Woods, the discrimination attorney, said the latter point is important: If an employee fails to report the harassment to a manager or to human resources, or fails to take advantage of other preventive measures, the employer may not be held liable. Christine Willmsen, The Seattle Times, "Long before #MeToo, these Puget Sound women sued, won, strengthened anti-harassment law," 30 Apr. 2018 And doctors are calling for more disease testing, treatment and education, as well as preventive measures such as needle exchanges. Laura Ungar, The Courier-Journal, "Rampant opioid injection: 'A ticking time bomb' that puts all Americans at risk for disease," 6 Apr. 2018 Kirsti and her husband spend almost two hours a day taking preventive measures to protect their baby and will spend $10,000 to $20,000 over the course of a year in treatments. Marlisse Cepeda, Woman's Day, "The Heartbreaking Reason This Mom Will Never Be Able to Hug Her Baby," 22 Dec. 2014 The Virginia Department of Health is investigating how Killy contracted the disease and all who came in contact with the baby, including the other children at the day care, have been given a preventive dose of antibiotics, according to WTVR. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Baby dies from meningitis, parents issue warning," 12 July 2018 The United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel that reviews the evidence of effectiveness for preventive services, currently recommends the co-testing that other groups advocate. Laurie Mcginley, latimes.com, "HPV test is better than Pap smear at detecting precancerous cervical changes, study says," 3 July 2018 Aggressive treatment prompted by a patient’s anxiety requires further scrutiny because each preventive intervention entails serious risks. Katherine Drabiak, Washington Post, "As more women turn to genetic testing for breast cancer, understanding risk is key," 25 June 2018

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

Adjective

circa 1626, in the meaning defined above

Noun

circa 1639, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for preventive

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preventive

The first known use of preventive was circa 1626

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More Definitions for preventive

preventive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of preventive

: used to stop something bad from happening

preventive

adjective
pre·​ven·​tive | \prē-ˈven-tiv \

Kids Definition of preventive

: used for keeping something from happening

preventive

noun
pre·​ven·​tive | \-ˈvent-iv \

Medical Definition of preventive 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: something (as a drug) used to prevent disease

preventive

adjective

Medical Definition of preventive (Entry 2 of 2)

: devoted to or concerned with the prevention of disease preventive drug therapy preventive psychiatry

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Comments on preventive

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