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[vak-seen or, esp. British, vak-seen, -sin] /vækˈsin or, esp. British, ˈvæk sin, -sɪn/
any preparation used as a preventive inoculation to confer immunity against a specific disease, usually employing an innocuous form of the disease agent, as killed or weakened bacteria or viruses, to stimulate antibody production.
the virus of cowpox, used in vaccination, obtained from pox vesicles of a cow or person.
a software program that helps to protect against computer viruses, as by detecting them and warning the user.
of or relating to vaccination.
of or relating to vaccinia.
of, relating to, or derived from cows.
Origin of vaccine
< New Latin (variolae) vaccīnae cowpox (in title of E. Jenner's treatise of 1798), equivalent to vacc(a) cow + -īnae, feminine plural of -īnus -ine1
Related forms
provaccine, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for pro-vaccine


noun (med)
a suspension of dead, attenuated, or otherwise modified microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, or rickettsiae) for inoculation to produce immunity to a disease by stimulating the production of antibodies
(originally) a preparation of the virus of cowpox taken from infected cows and inoculated in humans to produce immunity to smallpox
(modifier) of or relating to vaccination or vaccinia
(computing) a piece of software designed to detect and remove computer viruses from a system
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin variolae vaccīnae cowpox, title of medical treatise (1798) by Edward Jenner, from Latin vacca a cow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pro-vaccine



"matter used in vaccination," 1846, from Latin vaccina, fem. of vaccinus "pertaining to a cow" (see vaccination).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pro-vaccine in Medicine

vaccine vac·cine (vāk-sēn' vāk'sēn')

  1. A preparation of a weakened or killed pathogen, such as a bacterium or virus, or of a portion of the pathogen's structure that upon administration stimulates antibody production against the pathogen but is incapable of causing severe infection.

  2. A vaccine prepared from the cowpox virus and inoculated against smallpox.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pro-vaccine in Science
A preparation of a weakened or killed pathogen, such as a bacterium or virus, or of a portion of the pathogen's structure, that stimulates immune cells to recognize and attack it, especially through antibody production. Most vaccines are given orally or by intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. See Note at Jenner.

Our Living Language  : In the 1950s, polio epidemics left thousands of children with permanent physical disabilities. Today, infants are given a vaccine to prevent infection with the polio virus. That vaccine, like most others, works by stimulating the body's immune system to produce antibodies that destroy pathogens. Scientists usually prepare vaccines by taking a sample of the pathogen and destroying or weakening it with heat or chemicals. The inactivated or attenuated pathogen loses its ability to cause serious illness but is still able to stimulate antibody production, thereby conferring immunity. The Salk polio vaccine contains "killed" virus, while the Sabin polio vaccine contains weakened "live" poliovirus. (Many scientists no longer consider viruses to be living organisms) Scientists are also able to change the structure of viruses and bacteria at the molecular level, altering DNA so that the potential of the vaccine to cause disease is decreased. New vaccines containing harmless bits of DNA have also been developed.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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pro-vaccine in Culture
vaccine [(vak-seen)]

A substance prepared from dead or living microorganisms that is introduced into the body through inoculation. The vaccine causes the development of antibodies, which produce immunity to the disease caused by the microorganism.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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