bro·​mide | \ ˈbrō-ˌmīd \

Definition of bromide

1 : a binary compound of bromine with another element or a radical including some (such as potassium bromide) used as sedatives
2a : a commonplace or tiresome person : bore
b : a commonplace or hackneyed statement or notion

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Did You Know?

After bromine was discovered in 1827, chemists could not resist experimenting with the new element. It didn't take long before they found uses for its compounds, in particular potassium bromide. Potassium bromide was used as a sedative to treat everything from epilepsy to sleeplessness, and by the 20th century, bromide was being used figuratively to apply to anything or anyone that might put one to sleep because of commonness or just plain dullness. Today, bromides are no longer an ingredient in sedative preparations, but we can still feel the effects of figurative bromides as we encounter them in our daily routines.

Examples of bromide in a Sentence

His speech had nothing more to offer than the usual bromides about how everyone needs to work together. a newspaper editorial offering the timeworn bromide that people should settle their differences peacefully

Recent Examples on the Web

Its supply of vecuronium bromide, another drug that stops the lungs, expired in March. Fox News, "Second of Arkansas' 3 lethal injection drugs expires," 31 Aug. 2018 Sodium thiopental, the barbiturate used in the injection that killed Brooks, and pancuronium bromide are typically used in medical settings to anesthetize patients — they were not designed for use in lethal injection procedures. Abdullah Shihipar, Teen Vogue, "Lethal Injection Drugs and the Death Penalty, Explained," 30 Oct. 2018 For the first time, Tennessee is planning to use midazolam as a sedative, the muscle-relaxer vecuronium bromide and then potassium chloride to stop the heart. Jonathan Mattise, The Seattle Times, "Tennessee high court refuses to block looming execution," 6 Aug. 2018 Which is to say, to use an old journalism bromide: Afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. Kara Swisher, Recode, "Turn and face the change: Recode and are partnering," 1 Nov. 2018 These drugs include propofol, midazolam, and hydromorphone — all of which are used to sedate — as well as the drugs pancuronium bromide, which is a muscle relaxant, and potassium chloride, which stops the heart. Abdullah Shihipar, Teen Vogue, "Lethal Injection Drugs and the Death Penalty, Explained," 30 Oct. 2018 Her best friend, Reva, speaks in self-help bromides while expropriating her wine and designer wardrobe. Megan O’grady, New York Times, "Read Any Antisocial Novels Lately?," 10 May 2018 Some produced thoughtful answers about the state’s future, others generated responses that came across as general bromides about making things better. John Myers,, "Personality — not policy — divides and other takeaways from the California governor debate," 9 May 2018 Republican congressman Steve Scalise responded to Waters with a vapid, tut-tutting bromide hinting that the end of the republic, should her stance gain traction, is nigh. Jay Willis, GQ, "Public Shaming Is Powerful," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bromide.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bromide

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for bromide

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for bromide

The first known use of bromide was in 1830

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More Definitions for bromide



English Language Learners Definition of bromide

: a drug that makes a person calm

: a statement that is intended to make people feel happier or calmer but that is not original or effective


bro·​mide | \ ˈbrō-ˌmīd \

Medical Definition of bromide

1 : a binary compound of bromine with another element or a radical including some (as potassium bromide) used as sedatives
2 : a dose of bromide taken usually as a sedative

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More from Merriam-Webster on bromide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bromide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bromide

Britannica English: Translation of bromide for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bromide

Comments on bromide

What made you want to look up bromide? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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