truth serum

noun

: a hypnotic or anesthetic held to induce a subject under questioning to talk freely

Examples of truth serum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Whereas most pop songs utilize at least a modicum of gloss to conceal the thirstiest elements of the human condition, this thing sounded like it was shot full of caffeine and truth serum. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 13 Mar. 2024 The structure is pleasantly nostalgic: Adventure-of-the-week stories that blend classic spy-genre elements — earpiece banter and epic shootouts, truth serum and international travel — with big-name guest stars in showcase roles. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 1 Feb. 2024 What ultimately dissuaded her, Breen suspects, was the drug’s reputation as a truth serum. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 22 Jan. 2024 At the novel’s start, Leo Kall, the inventor of the titular truth serum, is a belligerent proponent of the supremacy of the state and the relative meaninglessness of the individual. Talya Zax, The New Yorker, 8 Sep. 2023 The question is unanswerable, leading many to conclude that any statement prompted by truth serum must be deemed illegitimate. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 2 Oct. 2021 In the early years of truth serum use, this reasoning prevailed in law enforcement. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 2 Oct. 2021 Amazingly, not one of these very smart bobble heads is an actual conservation biologist, who would, if he or she was given truth serum, have said that our most noble, high-minded environmental law is an unmitigated failure. Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 26 Apr. 2011 No law prohibits the use of truth serum, assuming the subject consents. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 2 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'truth serum.' 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

1913, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of truth serum was in 1913

Dictionary Entries Near truth serum

Cite this Entry

“Truth serum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/truth%20serum. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

truth serum

noun
: a hypnotic or anesthetic (as thiopental) held to induce a subject under questioning to talk freely
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