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placebo

play
noun pla·ce·bo \plə-ˈsē-(ˌ)bō\

Simple Definition of placebo

  • medical : a pill or substance that is given to a patient like a drug but that has no physical effect on the patient

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of placebo

plural

placebos

  1. 1 a :  a usually pharmacologically inert preparation prescribed more for the mental relief of the patient than for its actual effect on a disorder b :  an inert or innocuous substance used especially in controlled experiments testing the efficacy of another substance (as a drug)

  2. 2 :  something tending to soothe

Did You Know?

Doctors doing research on new treatments for disease often give one group a placebo while a second group takes the new medication. Since those in the placebo group usually believe they're getting the real thing, their own hopeful attitude may bring about improvement in their condition. Thus, for the real drug to be considered effective, it must produce even better results than the placebo. Placebos have another use as well. A doctor who suspects that a patient's physical symptoms are psychologically produced may prescribe a placebo in the hope that mentally produced symptoms can also be mentally cured.

Origin and Etymology of placebo

Latin, I shall please


First Known Use: 1785


Medical Dictionary

placebo

play
noun pla·ce·bo \plə-ˈsē-(ˌ)bō\

Medical Definition of placebo

plural

placebos

  1. 1:  a usually pharmacologically inert preparation prescribed more for the mental relief of the patient than for its actual effect on a disorder

  2. 2:  an inert or innocuous substance used especially in controlled experiments testing the efficacy of another substance (as a drug)




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