medicine show


: a traveling show using entertainers to attract a crowd among which remedies or nostrums are sold

Examples of medicine show in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hurt drew inspiration from disparate sources, including ragtime and music from minstrel and medicine shows. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Feb. 2024 How did this music surpass its muses from the holds to the plantation to the medicine shows and minstrels and brothels and jukes, to the Grammys red carpet, lavish video shoots and MTV Cribs? Harmony Holiday, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2023 But as the history of Latin American social medicine shows, social scientists can counter that, with time, their approach has helped build more just, free and healthy societies. Eric D. Carter, Fortune, 8 Oct. 2023 Robertson specialized in portraits of bygone figures and institutions, writing odes to Confederate soldiers, blacksmiths, medicine shows and whistle stops, his tall tales given weight and energy by the heft of the Band. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Los Angeles Times, 9 Aug. 2023 In the classic format of the old-time medicine show, a snake-oil salesman traveled from town to town with various entertainers in tow. James Sullivan,, 10 Oct. 2022 At the time, her parents owned and ran a traveling medicine show in Texas. New York Times, 29 Oct. 2021 Dennison, who grew up performing in her parents' traveling medicine show, was born in an Arizona men's prison in 1923, according to The New York Times. Maria Pasquini,, 1 Nov. 2021 Jo-Carroll Dennison spent a rootless childhood in a traveling medicine show in the 1920s and ’30s with little money or formal education. New York Times, 29 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'medicine show.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1887, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of medicine show was in 1887

Dictionary Entries Near medicine show

Cite this Entry

“Medicine show.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

medicine show

: a traveling show using entertainers to attract a crowd that may buy cures, remedies, and medicines whose benefits are often much exaggerated
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