[ pree-klin-i-kuh l ]
/ priˈklɪn ɪ kəl /

adjective Medicine/Medical.

of or relating to the period prior to the appearance of the symptoms.

Origin of preclinical

First recorded in 1930–35; pre- + clinical

Related forms

pre·clin·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for preclinical


/ (priːˈklɪnɪkəl) /

adjective med

of, relating to, or occurring during the early phases of a disease before accurate diagnosis is possible
of, relating to, or designating an early period of scientific study by a medical student before practical experience with patients

Derived Forms

preclinically, adverb
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

Medicine definitions for preclinical


[ prē-klĭnĭ-kəl ]


Of or relating to the period of a disease before the appearance of symptoms.
Of or being a period in medical education before the student is involved with patients and clinical work.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.