panacea

noun
pan·​a·​cea | \ ˌpa-nə-ˈsē-ə How to pronounce panacea (audio) \

Definition of panacea

: a remedy for all ills or difficulties : cure-all The law will improve the lives of local farmers, but it is no panacea.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from panacea

panacean \ ˌpa-​nə-​ˈsē-​ən How to pronounce panacean (audio) \ adjective

Panacea Comes From the Name of a Greek Goddess

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").

Examples of panacea in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

New York Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes agrees legalizing marijuana isn’t a panacea for minority communities. Jennifer Peltz, The Seattle Times, "Pot ‘legalization 2.0’: Social equity becomes a key question," 20 May 2019 If the movement ends once big businesses can cash in on health and beauty products, marketed with dubious claims that cast CBD as a panacea, then the movement has failed. Amber Senter, Marie Claire, "We Have to Acknowledge That CBD Use Is a Privilege," 11 Apr. 2019 While ad-free subscription models have worked for some platforms—notably Amazon (amzn, +0.73%) Prime and Netflix—they’re hardly a panacea. Ralf Jacob, Fortune, "AI Is About to Make Video Ads a Lot Less Annoying," 26 June 2018 And our flying-car fetish has been a bogus panacea all along—every crash would be an air disaster. Smith Henderson, Popular Mechanics, "I Went to the Opening of Elon Musk's First Boring Company Tunnel and Here Is What I Found," 19 Dec. 2018 The nation’s highest court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, opening the door to the legalization of gambling in New Jersey and other states such as Illinois looking for a budget panacea. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Kevin Pendergast represents side of legal gambling story easy to overlook," 20 May 2018 Designer Virgil Abloh cited male consumers having ‘a higher bandwidth for new ideas in fashion.’ Photo: Off-White Some fashion executives warn that drops, while buzzy, aren’t a panacea for the industry’s ills. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "Designers Hope ‘Drops’ Make You Shop," 23 July 2018 Then again, when leading tailbacks Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny have just six combined NFL games between them, the ground game isn’t a likely panacea. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks should have embraced rebuild and traded Earl Thomas," 18 Sep. 2018 Nonetheless, politicians often treat gambling much like colonists did: as a panacea, a quick and painless way to raise a windfall. Jonathan D. Cohen, Vox, "How lottery money helped build the United States," 24 Oct. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of panacea

1548, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for panacea

Latin, from Greek panakeia, from panakēs all-healing, from pan- + akos remedy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about panacea

Listen to Our Podcast about panacea

Dictionary Entries near panacea

PAN

Pan's pipes

panace

panacea

panachage

panache

panached

Statistics for panacea

Last Updated

30 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for panacea

The first known use of panacea was in 1548

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for panacea

panacea

noun

English Language Learners Definition of panacea

somewhat formal : something that will make everything about a situation better

panacea

noun
pan·​a·​cea | \ ˌpan-ə-ˈsē-ə How to pronounce panacea (audio) \

Medical Definition of panacea

: a remedy for all ills or difficulties

Other Words from panacea

panacean \ -​ˈsē-​ən How to pronounce panacean (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on panacea

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for panacea

Spanish Central: Translation of panacea

Nglish: Translation of panacea for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of panacea for Arabic Speakers

Comments on panacea

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

WORD OF THE DAY

showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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