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

Keep scrolling for more

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 One possible explanation: the cyanobacteria produce the toxin from a bromide-containing herbicide that lake managers use to control the weed. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "After more than 2 decades of searching, scientists finger cause of mass eagle deaths," 25 Mar. 2021 The facility is the sole emitter of vinyl bromide — a likely carcinogen that can harm the liver — in the state, another worry the groups cited. Halle Parker | Staff Writer,, "Environmental groups oppose Shintech's Louisiana expansion over air pollution concerns," 2 Feb. 2021 The state’s usual injection protocol calls for three drugs: pentobarbital, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride. Fox News, "South Carolina officials say they can't get drugs for man's Friday execution," 1 Dec. 2020 The most notable thing about Cruz’s bromide was not its vituperative tone, but the fact that it was directed at Dorsey and not the other two CEOs called to testify, Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "Surprise! The Section 230 Hearing Wasn’t About Section 230," 28 Oct. 2020 But this pop psychology bromide offers a limited understanding of how high-level performance works. Washington Post, "How to sort the good cops from the rotten: Ask them about Trump’s golf-putt metaphor," 1 Sep. 2020 The spokesman said it would be replaced by Brevital, a barbiturate anesthetic, in a mix that also included pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride. Tim Evans, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Supreme Court to decide if state must identify suppliers of death penalty drugs," 8 July 2020 In Tennessee, the protocol calls for the injection of three drugs: midazolam, a sedative; vecuronium bromide, which paralyzes the inmate; and potassium chloride, which stops the heart. Rick Rojas, New York Times, "Why This Inmate Chose the Electric Chair Over Lethal Injection," 19 Feb. 2020 And anyone who misunderstands this will continue projecting onto religious conservatives the usual tired bromides that refuse to reckon with a complicated situation. Andrew T. Walker, National Review, "Understanding Why Religious Conservatives Would Vote for Trump," 10 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of bromide

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bromide

Time Traveler for bromide

Time Traveler

The first known use of bromide was in 1830

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about bromide

Statistics for bromide

Last Updated

30 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bromide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!