Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[aj-uh-vuh nt] /ˈædʒ ə vənt/
serving to help or assist; auxiliary.
Medicine/Medical. utilizing drugs, radiation therapy, or other means of supplemental treatment following cancer surgery.
a person or thing that aids or helps.
anything that aids in removing or preventing a disease, especially a substance added to a prescription to aid the effect of the main ingredient.
Immunology. a substance admixed with an immunogen in order to elicit a more marked immune response.
1600-10; < Latin adjuvant- (stem of adjuvāns, present participle of adjuvāre), equivalent to ad- ad- + juv- (stem of juvāre to help) + -ant- -ant Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for adjuvant
  • Q: I've heard researchers may need to use an immune booster, called an adjuvant, for flu vaccine.
  • With the tetanus shot, the diptheria toxoid added acts as an adjuvant.
  • For example, they have spent eight decades adding alum to vaccines as what is known as an adjuvant.
  • Dr Rappuoli says that if an adjuvant is used, half the normal flu dose would work.
  • Adding adjuvant(s) doubles the amount of vaccine available? Well, yes.
  • Some big vaccine-makers, for example, are bolstering the conventional approach with adjuvants.
  • adjuvant chemotherapy is administered following surgery and before radiation therapy.
British Dictionary definitions for adjuvant


aiding or assisting
something that aids or assists; auxiliary
(med) a drug or other substance that enhances the activity of another
(immunol) a substance that enhances the immune response stimulated by an antigen when injected with the antigen
Word Origin
C17: from Latin adjuvāns, present participle of adjuvāre, from juvāre to help
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
Cite This Source
adjuvant in Medicine

adjuvant ad·ju·vant (āj'ə-vənt)

  1. A pharmacological agent added to a drug, predictably affecting the action of the drug's active ingredient.

  2. An immunological vehicle for enhancing antigenicity, such as a water-in-oil emulsion in which antigen solution is emulsified in mineral oil. Also called immunoadjuvant.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for adjuvant

substance that enhances the effect of a particular medical treatment. Administration of one drug may enhance the effect of another. In anesthesia, for example, sedative drugs are customarily given before an operation to reduce the quantity of anesthetic drug needed. In immunology an adjuvant is a substance that increases the body's reaction to a foreign substance. The reaction to diphtheria toxoid-modified form of the toxin, or poisonous substance, produced by the organism that causes diphtheria-is increased, for example, if the toxoid is adsorbed (attached) to particles of aluminum hydroxide or aluminum phosphate.

Learn more about adjuvant with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for adjuvant

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for adjuvant

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for adjuvant