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patent medicine

a medicine sold without a prescription in drugstores or by sales representatives, and usually protected by a trademark.
a medicine distributed by a company having a patent on its manufacture.
Origin of patent medicine
1760-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for patent-medicine
Historical Examples
  • Yet these exploitations cited above, while they are extreme, differ only in degree from nearly all patent-medicine advertising.

    The Great American Fraud Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • Of course, the patent-medicine venders had long since reached it.

    Across America James F. Rusling
  • Don't run away with the idea that conversion is a patent-medicine.

    Mr. Prohack E. Arnold Bennett
  • The newspaper which refuses to aid the patent-medicine people is marked.

    The Great American Fraud Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • Why was it in vain for the speakers in that patent-medicine debate to search for their speeches in the next day's newspapers?

    The Great American Fraud Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • Of course it has the patent-medicine flavor, too; Detroit, by her "slogan," is a cure-all.

    Abroad at Home Julian Street
  • The patent-medicine evil cannot be cured by occasional exposure or by overexposure.

    Civics and Health William H. Allen
  • The American people were slaves to self-medication, and the patent-medicine makers had it all their own way.

  • Consequently, the lower and ignorant classes are caught by the blatant chaff of the patent-medicine venders and the quack doctors.

  • And among the voices were those of the agents who were selling my postcards, selling them like liniment in a patent-medicine show.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl
British Dictionary definitions for patent-medicine

patent medicine

a medicine protected by a patent and available without a doctor's prescription
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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patent-medicine in Medicine

patent medicine pat·ent medicine (pāt'nt)
A nonprescription drug or other medical preparation that is often protected by a trademark.

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