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

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 recalls and warnings are both reactionary and preventive. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Here's what you need to know about the current salmonella and cyclospora outbreaks," 17 June 2018 The bulk of federal money Planned Parenthood receives goes toward preventive health care, birth control, pregnancy tests and other women's health services. Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN, "Planned Parenthood president claims she felt bribed by Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner," 4 Apr. 2018 Work also included equipment inspections, repairs and preventive maintenance, adding smart devices inside pipes, and relocating thousands of gas meters from inside garages to outdoors. Lorraine Mirabella, baltimoresun.com, "BGE proposing natural gas rate increase," 8 June 2018 In a letter to patients, the hospital described how the tank was undergoing preventive maintenance because of a problem with a system that automatically fills the liquid nitrogen that keeps the embryos frozen. Fox News, "Company: Storage tank didn't cause fertility clinic failure," 10 Apr. 2018 In its letter to the families, University Hospitals also said that the tank had been undergoing preventive maintenance, with advice from Custom Biogenic Systems, for several weeks before the temperature rose. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Legal actions grow after loss of frozen embryos," 2 Apr. 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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Last Updated

8 Sep 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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