1. Going before; preceding. [Obs.]
Any previous counsel or preventive understanding. --Cudworth.
2. Tending to defeat or hinder; obviating; preventing the access of; as, a medicine preventive of disease.
Physic is either curative or preventive. --Sir T. Browne.
Preventive service, the duty performed by the armed police in guarding the coast against smuggling. [Eng]
Pre·vent·ive, n. That which prevents, hinders, or obstructs; that which intercepts access; in medicine, something to prevent disease; a prophylactic.
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]
n 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]