See more synonyms for contraceptive on
  1. a contraceptive device, drug, foam, etc.

Origin of contraceptive

First recorded in 1890–95; contra-1 + (con)ceptive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for contraceptive

Contemporary Examples of contraceptive

Historical Examples of contraceptive

  • The advantage and disadvantage of this or that contraceptive is a technical matter for the doctors to determine.

  • But the remedy is simple: give her full instruction in the use of contraceptive measures.


    William J. Robinson

  • But contraceptive knowledge, etc., has now become so general that to regulate sex activity is no longer to regulate reproduction.

    Taboo and Genetics

    Melvin Moses Knight, Iva Lowther Peters, and Phyllis Mary Blanchard

  • In what way has society been injured by this couple obtaining the contraceptive knowledge?


    William J. Robinson

  • The notoriously "unsafe" character of the contraceptive measures has only diminished this fear, not completely allayed it.

    The Nervous Housewife

    Abraham Myerson

British Dictionary definitions for contraceptive


  1. relating to or used for contraception; able or tending to prevent impregnation
  1. any device that prevents or tends to prevent conception
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

Word Origin and History for contraceptive

1891 (n.), 1918 (adj.), from stem of contraception + -ive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

contraceptive in Medicine


  1. Capable of preventing conception.
  1. A device, drug, or chemical agent that prevents conception.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

contraceptive in Science


  1. A substance or device capable of preventing pregnancy.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.