[vak-seen or, esp. British, vak-seen, -sin]
any preparation used as a preventive inoculation to confer immunity against a specific disease, usually employing an innocuous form of the disease agent, as killed or weakened bacteria or viruses, to stimulate antibody production.
the virus of cowpox, used in vaccination, obtained from pox vesicles of a cow or person.
a software program that helps to protect against computer viruses, as by detecting them and warning the user.
of or pertaining to vaccination.
of or pertaining to vaccinia.
of, pertaining to, or derived from cows.

< Neo-Latin (variolae) vaccīnae cowpox (in title of E. Jenner's treatise of 1798), equivalent to vacc(a) cow + -īnae, feminine plural of -īnus -ine1

provaccine, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
vaccine (ˈvæksiːn)
1.  a suspension of dead, attenuated, or otherwise modified microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, or rickettsiae) for inoculation to produce immunity to a disease by stimulating the production of antibodies
2.  (originally) a preparation of the virus of cowpox taken from infected cows and inoculated in humans to produce immunity to smallpox
3.  (modifier) of or relating to vaccination or vaccinia
4.  computing a piece of software designed to detect and remove computer viruses from a system
[C18: from New Latin variolae vaccīnae cowpox, title of medical treatise (1798) by Edward Jenner, from Latin vacca a cow]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"matter used in vaccination," 1846, from L. vaccina, fem. of vaccinus "pertaining to a cow" (see vaccination).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

vaccine vac·cine (vāk-sēn' vāk'sēn')

  1. A preparation of a weakened or killed pathogen, such as a bacterium or virus, or of a portion of the pathogen's structure that upon administration stimulates antibody production against the pathogen but is incapable of causing severe infection.

  2. A vaccine prepared from the cowpox virus and inoculated against smallpox.

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
Science Dictionary
vaccine   (vāk-sēn')  Pronunciation Key 
A preparation of a weakened or killed pathogen, such as a bacterium or virus, or of a portion of the pathogen's structure, that stimulates immune cells to recognize and attack it, especially through antibody production. Most vaccines are given orally or by intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. See Note at Jenner.

Our Living Language  : In the 1950s, polio epidemics left thousands of children with permanent physical disabilities. Today, infants are given a vaccine to prevent infection with the polio virus. That vaccine, like most others, works by stimulating the body's immune system to produce antibodies that destroy pathogens. Scientists usually prepare vaccines by taking a sample of the pathogen and destroying or weakening it with heat or chemicals. The inactivated or attenuated pathogen loses its ability to cause serious illness but is still able to stimulate antibody production, thereby conferring immunity. The Salk polio vaccine contains "killed" virus, while the Sabin polio vaccine contains weakened "live" poliovirus. (Many scientists no longer consider viruses to be living organisms) Scientists are also able to change the structure of viruses and bacteria at the molecular level, altering DNA so that the potential of the vaccine to cause disease is decreased. New vaccines containing harmless bits of DNA have also been developed.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
vaccine [(vak-seen)]

A substance prepared from dead or living microorganisms that is introduced into the body through inoculation. The vaccine causes the development of antibodies, which produce immunity to the disease caused by the microorganism.

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 facility will try to develop vaccines and medicine that protect the public
  and livestock from future disease outbreaks.
Journalists serve the public with their daily reports about our studies of flu
  vaccines and voting patterns and hominid fossils.
That's why vaccines are the foundation's number one priority.
Advances including better nutrition, antiviral medications and vaccines are
  preventing the rapid spread of the illness.
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