from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A worthless preparation fraudulently peddled as a cure for many ills.
  • noun Speech or writing intended to deceive; humbug.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A traditional Chinese medicine used to treat joint pain.
  • noun A type of 19th century patent medicine sold in the United States that claimed to contain snake fat, supposedly a Native American remedy for various ailments.
  • noun idiomatic A fraudulent, ineffective potion or nostrum; panacea.
  • noun idiomatic Any product with exaggerated marketing but questionable or unverifiable quality.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (medicine) any of various liquids sold as medicine (as by a travelling medicine show) but medically worthless
  • noun communication (written or spoken) intended to deceive


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