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Definition of "placebo" []

  • A substance containing no medication and prescribed or given to reinforce a patient's expectation to get well. (noun)
  • An inactive substance or preparation used as a control in an experiment or test to determine the effectiveness of a medicinal drug. (noun)
  • Something of no intrinsic remedial value that is used to appease or reassure another. (noun)
  • Roman Catholic Church The service or office of vespers for the dead. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "placebo" in a sentence
  • " The term placebo: an inert medication or bogus treatment that is intended to control for expectancy effects."
  • "The pharmaceutical industry including some prominent researchers and supposed regulators continue to insist that testing new drugs against a placebo is the only way to get scientifically valid and meaningful results even though administration of placebos means some subjects get no treatment at all."
  • "PHILIPS: Well, I think there is what we call a placebo effect."