What does placebo mean?

Definitions for placebopləˈsi boʊ for 1; plɑˈtʃeɪ boʊ for 2

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word placebo.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. placebo(noun)

    an innocuous or inert medication; given as a pacifier or to the control group in experiments on the efficacy of a drug

  2. placebo(noun)

    (Roman Catholic Church) vespers of the office for the dead


  1. Placebo(n.)

    (Med.) a dose of a compound having no pharmacological activity given to a subject in a medical experiment as part of a control experiment in a test of the effectiveness of another, active pharmacological agent.

  2. Origin: [L., I shall please, fut. of placere to please.]


  1. placebo(Noun)

    A dummy medicine containing no active ingredients; an inert treatment.

  2. placebo(Noun)

    Anything of no real benefit which nevertheless makes people feel better.

  3. Origin: From placebo, the first-person singular future active indicative of placeo.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Placebo(noun)

    the first antiphon of the vespers for the dead

  2. Placebo(noun)

    a prescription intended to humor or satisfy

  3. Origin: [L., I shall please, fut. of placere to please.]


  1. Placebo

    A placebo is a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient. Sometimes patients given a placebo treatment will have a perceived or actual improvement in a medical condition, a phenomenon commonly called the placebo effect. In medical research, placebos are given as control treatments and depend on the use of measured deception. Common placebos include inert tablets, vehicle infusions, sham surgery, and other procedures based on false information. However, placebos can also have a surprisingly positive effect on a patient who knows that the given treatment is without any active drug, as compared with a control group who knowingly did not get a placebo. In one common placebo procedure, however, a patient is given an inert pill, told that it may improve his/her condition, but not told that it is in fact inert. Such an intervention may cause the patient to believe the treatment will change his/her condition; and this belief may produce a subjective perception of a therapeutic effect, causing the patient to feel their condition has improved — or an actual improvement in their condition. This phenomenon is known as the placebo effect.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Placebo

    plā-sē′bo, n. in the R.C. service of vespers for the dead the name of the first antiphon, which begins with the word: a medicine given to humour or gratify a patient rather than to exercise any curative effect. [L., 'I will please'—placēre, to please.]

Suggested Resources

  1. placebo

    Song lyrics by placebo -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by placebo on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of placebo in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of placebo in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Brandon A. Trean:

    The highest form of medicine is the simplest and most honest activation of the placebo effect via self-induction.

  2. Eric Alton:

    Patients who received the gene therapy showed a significant, if modest, benefit in tests of lung function compared with the placebo group.

  3. Andy Carr:

    It is difficult to support or justify a procedure with the potential for serious harm, even if it is rare, when that procedure offers patients no more benefit than placebo.

  4. Sarah Steele:

    Potential buyers should be made aware that no scientific study evidences that direct adult consumption of human milk for medicinal properties offers anything more than a placebo effect.

  5. Kathryn Hall:

    We are still in the early stages of using genetic screening for the placebo response in clinical trials, and as our knowledge of personalized medicine evolves it makes sense that we also consider how the placebo effect fits into treatment response.

Images & Illustrations of placebo

  1. placeboplaceboplacebo

Translations for placebo

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"placebo." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 19 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/placebo>.

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