the deliberate prevention of conception or impregnation by any of various drugs, techniques, or devices; birth control.

1885–90; contra-1 + (con)ception Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
contraception (ˌkɒntrəˈsɛpʃən)
birth control Compare family planning the intentional prevention of conception by artificial or natural means. Artificial methods in common use include preventing the sperm from reaching the ovum (using condoms, diaphragms, etc), inhibiting ovulation (using oral contraceptive pills), preventing implantation (using intrauterine devices), killing the sperm (using spermicides), and preventing the sperm from entering the seminal fluid (by vasectomy). Natural methods include the rhythm method and coitus interruptus
[C19: from contra- + conception]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"birth control," coined 1886 from L. contra + (con)ception. Contraceptive (n.) first recorded 1891.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

contraception con·tra·cep·tion (kŏn'trə-sěp'shən)
Intentional prevention of conception or impregnation through the use of various devices, agents, drugs, sexual practices, or surgical procedures.

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

contraception definition

Any practice that serves to prevent conception during sexual activity.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The college prohibits the distribution of contraception on the campus.
They are more open to contraception and more likely to understand their options.
Health care must be guaranteed as a right, not a commodity, and include
  reproductive health care and contraception.
Active methods include contraception and translocation-trucking surplus
  elephants out of overpopulated areas.
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