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pabulum

[pab-yuh-luh m] /ˈpæb yə ləm/
noun
1.
something that nourishes an animal or vegetable organism; food; nutriment.
2.
material for intellectual nourishment.
3.
Origin
1670-1680
1670-80; < Latin pābulum food, nourishment, equivalent to (scere) to feed (akin to food) + -bulum noun suffix of instrument
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pabulum
  • The rise will be faster than the ability to cope, because the coping is a function of the pabulum predictions.
  • My test truck had the optional air suspension that improves the vehicle's balance without cushioning the ride into pabulum.
  • The resultant interview, not surprisingly, had been a steady stream of pabulum and clichés.
  • He allowed himself to be steered into safe song choices and pabulum movies.
  • Any decaying animal or vegetable material may serve as pabulum.
  • The organic matter stirred up from the benthic zone temporarily furnishes a rich and varied pabulum.
British Dictionary definitions for pabulum

pabulum

/ˈpæbjʊləm/
noun (rare)
1.
food
2.
food for thought, esp when bland or dull
Word Origin
C17: from Latin, from pascere to feed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pabulum
n.

"food" for anything, 1670s, from Latin pabulum "fodder, food, nourishment," from PIE root *pa- "to protect, feed" (see food) + instrumentive suffix *-dhlom.

Pablum (1932), derived from this, is a trademark (Mead Johnson & Co.) for a soft, bland cereal used as a food for infants and weak and invalid people, hence figurative use (attested from 1970, first by U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew) in reference to "mushy" political prose.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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