Definition of panacea
- The law will improve the lives of local farmers, but it is no panacea.
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The law will improve the lives of local farmers, but it is no panacea.
a woman who seems to believe that chicken soup is a panacea for nearly everything
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'panacea.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Panacea comes from a Greek word meaning "all-healing", and Panacea was the goddess of healing. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, alchemists who sought to concoct the "elixir of life" (which would give eternal life) and the "philosopher's stone" (which would turn ordinary metals into gold) also labored to find the panacea. But no such medicine was ever found, just as no solution to all of a society's difficulties has ever been found. Thus, panacea is almost always used to criticize the very idea of a total solution ("There's no panacea for the current problems plaguing Wall Street").
First Known Use: 1548See Words from the same year
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having a quality expressive of sadness
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