AskDefine | Define preventive

Dictionary Definition

preventive adj
1 preventing or contributing to the prevention of disease; "preventive medicine"; "vaccines are prophylactic"; "a prophylactic drug" [syn: preventative, prophylactic]
2 tending to prevent or hinder [syn: preventative] [ant: permissive]
3 tending to ward off; "the swastika...a very ancient prophylactic symbol occurring among all peoples"- Victor Schultze [syn: cautionary, prophylactic]


1 remedy that prevents or slows the course of an illness or disease; "the doctor recommended several preventatives" [syn: preventative, prophylactic]
2 any obstruction that impedes or is burdensome [syn: hindrance, hitch, preventative, encumbrance, incumbrance, interference]
3 an agent or device intended to prevent conception [syn: contraceptive, preventative, contraceptive device, prophylactic device, birth control device]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Preventing, hindering, or acting as an obstacle to.
  2. Carried out to deter military aggression.
  3. Slowing the development of an illness; prophylactic.


preventing, hindering, or acting as an obstacle to
carried out to deter military aggression
slowing the development of an illness


  1. A thing that prevents, hinders, or acts as an obstacle to.
  2. A thing that slows the development of an illness.
  3. A contraceptive, especially a condom.

Usage notes



  1. Feminine plural form of preventivo

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

aegis, antacid, anticipative, anticipatory, antidote, arm guard, backstop, barrier, block, buffer, bulwark, bumper, contraceptive, copyright, counteractant, counteractive, counteragent, counterirritant, countermeasure, covering, crash helmet, curb, cushion, custodial, dashboard, defensive, deterrent, deterring, discouraging, dodger, ethnocentric, exceptional, excluding, exclusive, exclusory, face mask, fender, finger guard, foot guard, forbidding, forestalling, fostering, fuse, goggles, governor, guard, guardian, guarding, guardrail, hampering, hand guard, handrail, hard hat, helmet, hindering, hindrance, immunizing, impediment, impeding, inadmissible, inhibiting, inhibition, inhibitive, inhibitory, inoculant, inoculum, insular, insulation, interdictive, interdictory, interlock, knee guard, knuckle guard, laminated glass, life preserver, lifeline, lightning conductor, lightning rod, mask, mudguard, narrow, neutralizer, nose guard, nullifier, obstacle, obstruction, offset, pad, padding, palladium, parental, parochial, patent, pilot, precautionary, preclusive, prescriptive, preventative, prevention, prohibiting, prohibitive, prohibitory, prophylactic, proscriptive, protecting, protection, protective, protective clothing, protective umbrella, remedy, repressive, restraining, restrictive, safeguard, safeguarding, safety, safety glass, safety plug, safety rail, safety shoes, safety switch, safety valve, screen, screening, seat belt, seclusive, segregative, select, selective, separative, serum, sheltering, shield, shielding, shin guard, snobbish, sun helmet, suppressive, tutelary, umbrella, vaccine, vigilant, watchful, windscreen, windshield, xenophobic
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