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"small ball or round mass of medicine," c.1400, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German pille and Middle French pile, all from Latin pilula "pill," literally "little ball," diminutive of pila "a ball, playing ball," said to be related to pilus "hair" if the original notion was "hairball." Figurative sense "something disagreeable that must be swallowed" is from 1540s; slang meaning "boring person" is recorded from 1871. The pill "contraceptive pill" is from 1957.
1736, "to dose on pills," from pill (n.). From 1882 as "to form into pills." Related: Pilled; pilling.
A small pellet or tablet of medicine, often coated, taken by swallowing whole or by chewing.
An oral contraceptive.
Note: The Pill was introduced in the 1950s, and its possible side effects are still being investigated. It nonetheless offered an ease of use and reliability of result that no other method of contraception had ever before supplied. In this way, it contributed greatly to the sexual revolution.
Any oral contraceptive for women: now that the joint and the pill are with us