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condom

[kon-duh m, kuhn-] /ˈkɒn dəm, ˈkʌn-/
noun
1.
a thin sheath, usually of very thin rubber, worn over the penis during sexual intercourse to prevent conception or sexually transmitted disease.
Origin
1700-1710
1700-10; of obscure origin, but popularly supposed to have been named after an 18th-century English physician, who allegedly devised it
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for condoms
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, there's also a disturbing amount of condoms floating around the world's oceans.
  • Teachers in those programs are barred from mentioning condoms and birth control-except their failure rates.
  • They'd donned head condoms in the presence of their bankers, and so they had avoided being splattered by their mud.
  • condoms are widely available and a well-appointed hospital offers better care than many public clinics.
  • Prior to that condoms were made of vulcanized rubber or animal intestines.
  • condoms in damaged packages or past their expiration date should not be used.
  • The problem with condoms is that they don't get used as often as they should.
British Dictionary definitions for condoms

condom

/ˈkɒndɒm; ˈkɒndəm/
noun
1.
a sheathlike covering of thin rubber worn on the penis or in the vagina during sexual intercourse to prevent conception or infection
Word Origin
C18: of unknown origin
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
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Word Origin and History for condoms

condom

n.

1706, traditionally named for a British physician during reign of Charles II (a story traceable to 1709), but there is no evidence for that. Also spelled condam, quondam, which suggests it may be from Italian guantone, from guanto "a glove." A word omitted in the original OED (c.1890) and not used openly in the U.S. and not advertised in mass media until November 1986 speech by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop on AIDS prevention. Cf. prophylactic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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condoms in Medicine

condom con·dom (kŏn'dəm)
n.

  1. A flexible sheath, usually made of thin rubber or latex, designed to cover the penis or vagina during sexual intercourse for contraceptive purposes or as a means of preventing sexually transmitted diseases.

  2. A similar device, consisting of a loose-fitting polyurethane sheath closed at one end, that is inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse.

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

condom

contraceptive device consisting of a sheath that fits over the penis and that is intended to prevent the escape of semen into the vagina. It is made of very thin, flexible rubber or a rubberlike plastic (latex). The condom has long been used as protection against venereal infections and other sexually transmitted diseases, and by the 17th century it was utilized as a contraceptive as well. Early condoms were generally made of animal gut or fish membrane and were often inefficient. Legend is confused on the origin of the term condom-one story telling of a man named Condom devising such a contraceptive for Charles II of England. Since the 1840s most condoms have been made of vulcanized rubber or, since the 1930s, of latex. At first they were usually washable but now are generally disposable and slightly lubricated. Efficient, convenient, but still disliked for its dulling of physical sensation, the condom fails mainly because of irregular use. It is an effective form of protection against a broad range of sexually transmitted diseases. See contraception.

Learn more about condom with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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