[ aj-uh-vuhnt ]
/ ˈædʒ ə vənt /
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See synonyms for: adjuvant / adjuvants on Thesaurus.com


serving to help or assist; auxiliary: You'll be serving in an adjuvant capacity, on call if we need you.
Medicine/Medical. utilizing drugs, radiation therapy, or other means of supplemental treatment following cancer surgery or other primary cancer treatment: The cancer was caught at such an early stage that adjuvant measures were determined to be unnecessary.Compare neoadjuvant.


a person or thing that aids or helps: a team of adjuvants.
Medicine/Medical, Pharmacology. anything that aids in the treatment of disease, management of pain, etc., especially a substance added to a medication to aid the effect of the main ingredient: For some in acute pain, caffeine is an effective analgesic adjuvant.
Immunology. a substance admixed with an immunogen in order to elicit a more marked immune response: Aluminum salts have been used as adjuvants in vaccines for many decades.



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Origin of adjuvant

First recorded in 1570–80; from Latin adjuvant- (stem of adjuvāns, adjective use of present participle of adjuvāre ), equivalent to prefix ad- + juv- (stem of juvāre “to help”) + -ant; cf. ad-, aid, -ant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for adjuvant

British Dictionary definitions for adjuvant

/ (ˈædʒəvənt) /


aiding or assisting


something that aids or assists; auxiliary
med a drug or other substance that enhances the activity of another
immunol a substance that enhances the immune response stimulated by an antigen when injected with the antigen

Word Origin for adjuvant

C17: from Latin adjuvāns, present participle of adjuvāre, from juvāre to help
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

Medical definitions for adjuvant

[ ăjə-vənt ]


A pharmacological agent added to a drug, predictably affecting the action of the drug's active ingredient.
An immunological vehicle for enhancing antigenicity, such as a water-in-oil emulsion in which antigen solution is emulsified in mineral oil.immunoadjuvant
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.