- preventive, preventativeBoth words are in use as adjectives meaning ‘serving to prevent’, especially in medicine, and also as nouns denoting a substance or procedure that does this. Preventive is the commoner by a long way (with four times as many occurrences in the OEC), understandably in view of its more comfortable form:
• Preventive medicine may be more effective if problem-based learning programmes are established in place of the traditional methods of education —Physiotherapy, 1990
• The most powerful preventives are on the shelves of your natural foods store —Better Nutrition, AmE 2003 [OEC].When preventative occurs it is more usually in generalized contexts qualifying words such as action and measure rather than (for example) medicine:
• When we hear talk of a ‘preventative strike’ we must translate that term into what it really means: a surprise attack —V. Mollenkott, AmE 1987.
Modern English usage. 2014.
Look at other dictionaries:
Preventive — Pre*vent ive, a. [Cf. F. pr[ e]ventif.] 1. Going before; preceding. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Any previous counsel or preventive understanding. Cudworth. [1913 Webster] 2. Tending to defeat or hinder; obviating; preventing the access of; as, a… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
preventive — pre‧ven‧tive [prɪˈventɪv] also pre‧ven‧ta‧tive [ ˈventətɪv] adjective [only before a noun] intended to stop something happening: • improvements in auto safety and other preventive measures. * * * preventive UK US /prɪˈventɪv/ adjective [before… … Financial and business terms
preventive — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ designed to prevent something from occurring. ► NOUN ▪ a preventive medicine or other treatment … English terms dictionary
Preventive — Pre*vent ive, n. That which prevents, hinders, or obstructs; that which intercepts access; in medicine, something to prevent disease; a prophylactic. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
preventive — I adjective alert, antidotal, antiseptic, arresting, aseptic, averting, blocking, careful, cautious, checking, counteractant, counteracting, defensive, deterrent, deterring, disinfectant, forestalling, germicidal, guarded, guarding, hindering,… … Law dictionary
preventive — (adj.) 1630s, from L. praevent (pp. stem of praevenire, see PREVENT (Cf. prevent)) + IVE (Cf. ive). As a noun, from 1630s; in medical use from 1670s … Etymology dictionary
preventive — [prē vent′ə tiv, pri vent′ə tivprē vent′iv, privent′iv] adj. preventing or serving to prevent; esp., preventing disease n. anything that prevents; esp., anything that prevents disease; prophylactic: Also preventative [prē vent′ə tiv, pri vent′ə… … English World dictionary
preventive — adj. & n. adj. serving to prevent, esp. preventing disease, breakdown, etc. (preventive medicine; preventive maintenance). n. a preventive agent, measure, drug, etc. Phrases and idioms: preventive detention the imprisonment of a criminal for… … Useful english dictionary
preventive — I. noun Date: circa 1639 something that prevents; especially something used to prevent disease II. adjective Date: circa 1626 devoted to or concerned with prevention ; precautionary < preventive steps against soil erosion >: as a. designed or… … New Collegiate Dictionary
Préventive — Prévention La prévention est une attitude et/ou l ensemble de mesures à prendre pour éviter qu une situation (sociale, environnementale, économique..) ne se dégrade, ou qu un accident, une épidémie ou une maladie ne survienne. Elle… … Wikipédia en Français