bro·​mide | \ ˈbrō-ˌmīd How to pronounce bromide (audio) \

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

The old baseball bromide goes that momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher. Globe Staff,, "Red Sox needed Dodgers rematch as a reminder of what they can do," 13 July 2019 For the most part, though, Perot was a false prophet, relying on glib bromides, a pugnacious attitude and a disdain for the compromises and trade-offs that democratic government requires. Steve Chapman,, "Column: Ross Perot paved the way for Donald Trump," 9 July 2019 What fiction is made out of is a bit of a mystery, but an old bromide has it that ideas should not be a major component. Caleb Crain, The New York Review of Books, "Idea Man," 17 June 2019 Yet one character stands out from the bromides of healing and redemption. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: The Enduring Appeal of Fading Pleasures," 27 Sep. 2018 Tennessee plans called for use of midazolam as a sedative, the muscle-relaxer vecuronium bromide and then potassium chloride to stop the heart. Fox News, "Tennessee executes its first inmate in nearly a decade," 9 Aug. 2018 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

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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Last Updated

5 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for bromide

The first known use of bromide was in 1830

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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 How to pronounce bromide (audio) \

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).


not constant or steady

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