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[ley-i-tril] /ˈleɪ ɪ trɪl/
a controversial drug, purported to cure cancer, prepared from the pits of apricots or peaches and containing about 6 percent cyanide by weight: banned by the FDA.
Origin of laetrile
1950-55; said to be a contraction of l-mandelonitrile, equivalent to l- + German Mandel almond + -o- + nitrile Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for laetrile
  • Manufacture, delivery, possession and use of laetrile.
  • Other therapies, such as laetrile, have been studied and found to be ineffective and potentially harmful.
British Dictionary definitions for laetrile


an extract of peach stones, containing amygdalin, sold as a cure for cancer but judged useless and possibly dangerous by medical scientists
Word Origin
C20: from laevorotatory + nitrile
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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laetrile in Medicine

laetrile la·e·trile (lā'ĭ-trĭl', -trəl)
A drug derived from amygdalin from apricot pits and purported to have antineoplastic properties.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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