1. Going before; preceding. "Any previous counsel or preventive understanding." (Cudworth)

2. Tending to defeat or hinder; obviating; preventing the access of; as, a medicine preventive of disease. "Physic is either curative or preventive." (Sir T. Browne) Preventive service, the duty performed by the armed police in guarding the coast against smuggling.

Origin: Cf. F. Preventif.

That which prevents, hinders, or obstructs; that which intercepts access; in medicine, something to prevent disease; a prophylactic.

(01 Mar 1998)