snake oil

noun

Definition of snake oil

  1. 1 :  any of various substances or mixtures sold (as by a traveling medicine show) as medicine usually without regard to their medical worth or properties

  2. 2 :  poppycock, bunkum

1917

First Known Use of snake oil

1917


SNAKE OIL Defined for English Language Learners

snake oil

noun

Definition of snake oil for English Language Learners

  • : something that is sold as medicine but that is not really useful or helpful in any way


Medical Dictionary

snake oil

noun

Medical Definition of snake oil

  1. :  any of various substances or mixtures sold (as by a traveling medicine show) as medicine usually without having had the claims of their medical worth or properties substantiated by scientific tests

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