Precaution vs Preventive - What's the difference?

precaution | preventive |

As a noun precaution

is precaution.

As an adjective preventive is


Other Comparisons: What's the difference?




(en noun)
  • Previous caution or care; caution previously employed to prevent mischief or secure good; as, his life was saved by precaution.
  • * John Henry Newman
  • The ancient philosophers treasured up their supposed discoveries with miserable precaution .
  • A measure taken beforehand to ward off evil or secure good or success; a precautionary act.
  • to take precautions against risks of accident

    Derived terms

    * precautionary

    See also

    * prevention


    (en verb)
  • (transitive): To warn or caution beforehand. --.
  • (rare): To take precaution against. --.
  • preventive



    (en adjective)
  • Preventing, hindering, or acting as an obstacle to.
  • Carried out to deter military aggression.
  • Slowing the development of an illness; prophylactic.
  • * Sir Thomas Browne
  • Physic is either curative or preventive .
  • (obsolete) Going before; preceding.
  • * Cudworth
  • Any previous counsel or preventive understanding.


    (en noun)
  • (dated) A thing that prevents, hinders, or acts as an obstacle to.
  • * 1856 , Henry William Herbert, The Complete Manual for Young Sportsmen
  • Dogs should be warmly but airily housed; heartily, but not heatingly, fed — old Indian meal, mixed with oatmeal, suppawn, is the best general food, with a small quantity of salt, which is a preventive against worms
  • (nonstandard) A thing that slows the development of an illness.
  • A contraceptive, especially a condom.
  • Alternative forms

    * preventative

    Usage notes

    * Many speakers prefer to use preventive'' in adjective senses and ''preventative in noun senses.[
  • preventive]
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