preventative

Use the adjective preventative to describe something that helps keep you free of disease, like a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.

If it prevents illness, it's preventative. You can also use the word for things that hinder you, like a preventative speed bump that keeps you from rushing home to watch your favorite TV show, but it's more commonly a medical or health term. "Preventative medicine," for example, is focused on avoiding diseases rather than treating them. The Latin root word, praeventus, means "to hinder."

Definitions of preventative
  1. adjective
    tending to prevent or hinder
    synonyms: preventive
    blockading
    blocking entrance to and exit from seaports and harbors
    clogging, hindering, impeding, obstructive
    preventing movement
    deterrent
    tending to deter
    frustrating, frustrative, thwarting
    preventing realization or attainment of a desire
    precautional, precautionary
    taken in advance to protect against possible danger or failure
    obviating, preclusive
    made impossible
    pre-emptive, preemptive
    designed or having the power to deter or prevent an anticipated situation or occurrence
    prohibitive, prohibitory
    tending to discourage (especially of prices)
    protective
    intended or adapted to afford protection of some kind
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    Antonyms:
    permissive
    not preventive
    bailable
    admitting of bail
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  2. adjective
    preventing or contributing to the prevention of disease
    synonyms: preventive, prophylactic
    healthful
    conducive to good health of body or mind
  3. noun
    any obstruction that impedes or is burdensome
    synonyms: encumbrance, hinderance, hindrance, hitch, incumbrance, interference, preventive
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    types:
    clog
    any object that acts as a hindrance or obstruction
    speed bump
    a hindrance to speeding created by a crosswise ridge in the surface of a roadway
    type of:
    impediment, impedimenta, obstructer, obstruction, obstructor
    any structure that makes progress difficult
  4. noun
    remedy that prevents or slows the course of an illness or disease
    “the doctor recommended several preventatives
    synonyms: preventive, prophylactic
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    type of:
    curative, cure, remedy, therapeutic
    a medicine or therapy that cures disease or relieve pain
  5. noun
    an agent or device intended to prevent conception
    synonyms: birth control device, contraceptive, contraceptive device, preventive, prophylactic device
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    types:
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    cervical cap
    a contraceptive device consisting of a small thimble-shaped cup that is placed over the uterine cervix to prevent the entrance of spermatozoa
    coil
    a contraceptive device placed inside a woman's womb
    contraceptive diaphragm, diaphragm, pessary
    a contraceptive device consisting of a flexible dome-shaped cup made of rubber or plastic; it is filled with spermicide and fitted over the uterine cervix
    IUD, intrauterine device
    contraceptive device consisting of a piece of bent plastic or metal that is inserted through the vagina into the uterus
    morning-after pill
    a large dose of estrogen taken orally within 24 to 72 hours after intercourse; prevents implantation of a fertilized ovum and so acts as a contraceptive; commonly used after rape or incest
    anovulant, anovulatory drug, birth control pill, contraceptive pill, oral contraceptive, oral contraceptive pill, pill
    a contraceptive in the form of a pill containing estrogen and progestin to inhibit ovulation and so prevent conception
    spermatocide, spermicide
    a contraceptive agent that kills spermatozoa
    Demulen
    trade name for an oral contraceptive
    Enovid
    trade name for an oral contraceptive containing mestranol and norethynodrel
    Loestrin
    trade name for an oral contraceptive containing estradiol and norethindrone
    loop
    an intrauterine device in the shape of a loop
    Lo/Ovral
    trade name for an oral contraceptive containing estradiol and norgestrel
    Micronor
    trade name for and oral contraceptive containing the progestin compound norethindrone
    Modicon
    trade name for an oral contraceptive containing estradiol and norethindrone
    Norinyl
    trade name for an oral contraceptive containing norethindrone and mestranol
    Norlestrin
    trade name for an oral contraceptive containing estradiol and norethindrone
    Nor-Q-D
    trade name for an oral contraceptive containing norethindrone
    Ovocon
    trade name for an oral contraceptive containing estradiol and norethindrone
    Ovral
    trade name for an oral contraceptive containing estradiol and norgestrel
    Ovrette
    trade name for an oral contraceptive containing norgestrel
    Ovulen
    trade name for an oral contraceptive containing mestranol and a progestin compound
    type of:
    device
    an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
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