prophylactic

adjective
pro·​phy·​lac·​tic | \ ˌprō-fə-ˈlak-tik How to pronounce prophylactic (audio) also ˌprä- How to pronounce prophylactic (audio) \

Definition of prophylactic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : guarding from or preventing the spread or occurrence of disease or infection
2 : tending to prevent or ward off : preventive

prophylactic

noun

Definition of prophylactic (Entry 2 of 2)

: something prophylactic especially : a device and especially a condom for preventing venereal infection or conception

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Other Words from prophylactic

Adjective

prophylactically \ ˌprō-​fə-​ˈlak-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce prophylactic (audio) also  ˌprä-​ \ adverb

Synonyms for prophylactic

Synonyms: Adjective

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Examples of prophylactic in a Sentence

Adjective the prophylactic use of antibiotics the many prophylactic measures that city officials could have taken to reduce the scope of the disaster
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The lie cops tell about their crucial role in public safety is a preventive measure, prophylactic planning for the future. Stuart Schrader, The New Republic, 27 May 2021 In addition to its work on Covid-19, the company is developing a vaccine for shingles and a treatment for prostate cancer, among other therapeutic and prophylactic projects. Matt Grossman, WSJ, 30 Apr. 2021 Once an infection is detected in those communities, everyone exposed can immediately start prophylactic (preventative) treatment by taking a pill while isolating, preventing the viral replication and the spread of infection in the greater community. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 5 Apr. 2021 Many guidelines call for giving most people a low, prophylactic dose of anticoagulants on admission. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, 16 Mar. 2021 Each of the experimental drugs could prevent HIV infections operating alone, and the companies can pursue such prophylactic uses individually. Jonathan D. Rockoff, WSJ, 15 Mar. 2021 For example, the team reviews the reasons for litigation and regulatory violations and then introduces prophylactic measures and specific process and policy improvements to minimize the risk of new incidents. Mark A. Cohen, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2021 But patient subgroups at-risk of sepsis and coagulation dysfunction who had received low-dose prophylactic doses of heparin had approximately 20% lower mortality than patients who had not. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2021 Options range from frequent screenings to prophylactic surgery (a procedure intended to prevent disease), per the NCI. Korin Miller, Good Housekeeping, 9 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Science Immunology studies mostly focused on diABZI as a potential prophylactic—a drug administered prior to infection, with the aim of prevention. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 3 June 2021 Kuppalli said vaccines for other viruses, such as Ebola, have been shown to effective as a post-exposure prophylactic that could prevent disease. BostonGlobe.com, 24 Apr. 2021 For Whittington, some Designer Babies might have been engineered to avoid inheritable disease or as a prophylactic to future illnesses, like HIV or cancer. Cathy Hackl, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2021 Looking to the future, knowing the origins this pandemic provides a mental prophylactic against the looming uncertainty of the unavoidable next one. Marion Renault, The New Republic, 30 Mar. 2021 Republicans disavow their lunatic fringe just enough to create a prophylactic of plausible deniability, while allowing the tumors to metastasize. Alyson Cole, Fortune, 4 Mar. 2021 It could also be offered to people who have been exposed to the disease to prevent infection, or used as a daily prophylactic for those at high risk of infection, such as health care workers, first responders, and prison guards. Usha Lee Mcfarling, STAT, 11 Aug. 2020 Doctors caution there is no evidence dexamethasone can prevent coronavirus infection, and should not be used as a prophylactic. NBC News, 16 June 2020 Or in a sanitized version of blood sacrifice, small silver images of the patient were offered as a prophylactic against illness. Tulasi Srinivas, The Conversation, 15 June 2020

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

Adjective

1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

circa 1641, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prophylactic

Adjective

borrowed from Medieval Latin prophylacticus, borrowed from Greek prophylaktikós, from prophylakt-, stem in nominal derivation of prophylássein "to keep guard before a place, be on guard, (middle voice) to be on one's guard against, take precautions against" + -ikos -ic entry 1 — more at prophylaxis

Noun

borrowed from Late Latin prophylacticon "protective measure against disease," borrowed from Late Greek prophylaktikón, noun derivative from neuter of Greek prophylaktikós prophylactic entry 1

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Time Traveler for prophylactic

Time Traveler

The first known use of prophylactic was in 1574

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Statistics for prophylactic

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prophylactic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prophylactic. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for prophylactic

prophylactic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of prophylactic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

medical : designed to prevent disease

prophylactic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prophylactic (Entry 2 of 2)

medical : something that is designed to prevent the spread of disease or infection

prophylactic

adjective
pro·​phy·​lac·​tic | \ ˌprō-fə-ˈlak-tik also ˌpräf-ə- \

Medical Definition of prophylactic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : guarding from or preventing the spread or occurrence of disease or infection prophylactic therapy
2 : tending to prevent or ward off : preventive

Other Words from prophylactic

prophylactically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce prophylactic (audio) \ adverb

prophylactic

noun

Medical Definition of prophylactic (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (as a medicinal preparation) that is prophylactic especially : a device and especially a condom for preventing venereal infection or conception

prophylactic

adjective
pro·​phy·​lac·​tic | \ ˌprō-fə-ˈlak-tik, ˌprä- How to pronounce prophylactic (audio) \

Legal Definition of prophylactic

: designed or tending to prevent harm or wrong a prophylactic rule against profiting from inside information

More from Merriam-Webster on prophylactic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prophylactic

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about prophylactic

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