Learn English – What’s the difference between “contraception” and “contraceptive”


Definition of contraception:

The deliberate use of artificial methods or other techniques to prevent pregnancy as a consequence of sexual intercourse. The major forms of artificial contraception are: barrier methods, of which the commonest is the condom or sheath; the contraceptive pill, which contains synthetic sex hormones which prevent ovulation in the female; intrauterine devices, such as the coil, which prevent the fertilized ovum from implanting in the uterus; and male or female sterilization.

Definition of contraceptive (as noun):

A device or drug serving to prevent pregnancy.

Going by these two definitions, it appears that the two words have similar meanings. The definition of contraception is more detailed than the definition of contraceptive (and approaching an encyclopedia entry). More important, it seems like contraception refers to the act whereas contraceptive refers to the physical manifestation of the act.

Is this assessment correct?

(Oxford Dictionaries Online: contraception, contraceptive)

Best Answer

Trumpeting is a practice. It involves playing a trumpet

Contraception is a practice. It involves the use of a contraceptive.