from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Intended or used to prevent or hinder; acting as an obstacle.
  • adjective Carried out to deter expected aggression by hostile forces.
  • adjective Preventing or slowing the course of an illness or disease; prophylactic.
  • noun Something that prevents; an obstacle.
  • noun Something that prevents or slows the course of an illness or disease.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Serving to prevent or hinder; guarding against or warding off something, as disease, injustice, loss, etc.
  • noun That which goes before; an anticipation.
  • noun That which prevents; that which constitutes an effectual check or insurmountable obstacle.
  • noun Specifically, something taken, used, or done beforehand to ward off disease.
  • noun Also preventative.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun That which prevents, hinders, or obstructs; that which intercepts access; in medicine, something to prevent disease; a prophylactic.
  • adjective obsolete Going before; preceding.
  • adjective Tending to defeat or hinder; obviating; preventing the access of.
  • adjective [Eng] the duty performed by the armed police in guarding the coast against smuggling.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Preventing, hindering, or acting as an obstacle to.
  • adjective Carried out to deter military aggression.
  • adjective Slowing the development of an illness; prophylactic.
  • noun nonstandard A thing that prevents, hinders, or acts as an obstacle to.
  • noun nonstandard A thing that slows the development of an illness.
  • noun A contraceptive, especially a condom.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun remedy that prevents or slows the course of an illness or disease
  • adjective tending to prevent or hinder
  • adjective preventing or contributing to the prevention of disease
  • noun any obstruction that impedes or is burdensome
  • noun an agent or device intended to prevent conception


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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