Word of the Day

Tuesday, October 10, 2000

nostrum

\NOS-truhm\ , noun;
1.
A medicine of secret composition and unproven or dubious effectiveness; a quack medicine.
2.
A usually questionable remedy or scheme; a cure-all.
Quotes:
James is put to work at country fairs, promoting a quack nostrum for pain relief.
-- Patrick McGrath, "Heart of Ice", New York Times, April 13, 1997
His hopeful message attracted an audience eager to believe he had found the nostrum for all of society's ills.
-- Warren Sloat, "Looking Back at 'Looking Backward': We Have Seen the Future and It Didn't Work", New York Times, January 17, 1988
Old ladies were always offering her their advice, recommending this or that nostrum.
-- Charlotte Brontë, Shirley: A Tale
Origin:
Nostrum comes from Latin nostrum (remedium), "our (remedy)," from nos, "we."
POWERED BY 4INFO
Get Word of the Day
Free Email Sign Up
Other Delivery Options:
Mobile app
iGoogle
Mac
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Our Blog Suggest a Word Help