[aj-uh-vuh nt]
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  1. serving to help or assist; auxiliary.
  2. Medicine/Medical. utilizing drugs, radiation therapy, or other means of supplemental treatment following cancer surgery.
  1. a person or thing that aids or helps.
  2. anything that aids in removing or preventing a disease, especially a substance added to a prescription to aid the effect of the main ingredient.
  3. Immunology. a substance admixed with an immunogen in order to elicit a more marked immune response.

Origin of adjuvant

1600–10; < Latin adjuvant- (stem of adjuvāns, present participle of adjuvāre), equivalent to ad- ad- + juv- (stem of juvāre to help) + -ant- -ant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of adjuvant

British Dictionary definitions for adjuvant


  1. aiding or assisting
  1. something that aids or assists; auxiliary
  2. med a drug or other substance that enhances the activity of another
  3. 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

adjuvant in Medicine


  1. A pharmacological agent added to a drug, predictably affecting the action of the drug's active ingredient.
  2. 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.