preventive

adjective
pre·​ven·​tive | \ pri-ˈven-tiv How to pronounce preventive (audio) \

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

Supervise within an arm's reach Adequate supervision is an essential preventive strategy, says the AAP. Amy Haneline, USA TODAY, "Drowning tragedies can happen to anyone. Here's what parents need to know," 2 Aug. 2019 The new preventive coverage requirement may lead to private insurers or Medicaid programs trying to limit access by imposing prior authorization requirements, some advocates worry. Michelle Andrews, chicagotribune.com, "Even when HIV prevention drug is covered, other costs block treatment," 2 Aug. 2019 The lion body-part trade is being studied with a view toward more stringent preventive law enforcement. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "How the New Lion King Film Could Help the Real-Life Lion Crisis," 1 Aug. 2019 The need for such preventive work — and building with fire-resistant materials — has long been preached to those who live in the arid expanses of Washington and elsewhere in the West, where wildfires year after year claim homes and lives. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "As wildfire risk grows west of Cascades, homeowners urged to better protect their homes," 30 July 2019 There is no preventive nor any cure for this virus. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, "How to care for amaryllis bulbs," 26 July 2019 The combination is also being tested as a preventive, but those trials are not as far along. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Simpler HIV treatment and prevention strategies take center stage," 24 July 2019 One Medicaid service would be eliminated entirely if the vetoes stand: adult preventive dental medical coverage. Elizabeth Earl, Anchorage Daily News, "Providers await impacts of Medicaid cuts; dental services axed," 18 July 2019 In almost 25 years at the Journal, Ms. Lagnado’s award-winning coverage included articles on women at risk of breast cancer who had preventive double mastectomies, as well as investigations into how nursing homes handle patients with dementia. Brenda Cronin, WSJ, "Longtime Wall Street Journal Reporter Lucette Lagnado Dies at 62," 11 July 2019

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

11 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce preventive (audio) \

Kids Definition of preventive

: used for keeping something from happening

preventive

noun
pre·​ven·​tive | \ -ˈvent-iv How to pronounce preventive (audio) \

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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