prophylactic

[ proh-fuh-lak-tik, prof-uh- ]
/ ˌproʊ fəˈlæk tɪk, ˌprɒf ə- /

adjective

defending or protecting from disease or infection, as a drug.
preventive or protective.

noun

Medicine/Medical. a prophylactic medicine or measure.
a preventive.
a device, usually a rubber sheath, used to prevent conception or venereal infection; condom.

Origin of prophylactic

1565–75; < Greek prophylaktikós of guarding, equivalent to prophylak- (base of prophylássein to guard beforehand) + -tikos -tic. See prophylaxis

Related forms

pro·phy·lac·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prophylactic

British Dictionary definitions for prophylactic

prophylactic

/ (ˌprɒfɪˈlæktɪk) /

adjective

protecting from or preventing disease
protective or preventive

noun

a prophylactic drug or device, esp a condom

Word Origin for prophylactic

C16: via French from Greek prophulaktikos, from prophulassein to guard by taking advance measures, from pro- ² + phulax a guard
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 prophylactic

prophylactic

[ prō′fə-lăktĭk, prŏf′ə- ]

n.

A prophylactic agent, device, or measure, such as a vaccine or drug.
A contraceptive device, especially a condom.

adj.

Acting to defend against or prevent something, especially disease; protective.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.