patent medicine

noun
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of patent medicine

:a nonprescription medicinal preparation that is typically protected by a trademark and whose contents are incompletely disclosed; also :any drug that is a proprietary
Note: Patent medicine is often used to refer to a product (such as an elixir, tonic, or liniment) that was marketed as a medicine in the U.S. during the 1800s and early 1900s but was typically of unproven effectiveness and questionable safety.

Recent Examples of patent medicine from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patent medicine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of patent medicine

1770


Medical Dictionary

patent medicine

noun pat·ent medicine \ ˈpat-ᵊnt-, British usually ˈpāt- \

medical Definition of patent medicine

:a packaged nonprescription drug which is protected by a trademark and whose contents are incompletely disclosed; also :any drug that is a proprietary

Law Dictionary

patent medicine

noun

legal Definition of patent medicine

:a packaged nonprescription drug which is protected by a trademark and whose contents are incompletely disclosed; also :any drug that is a proprietary

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