What does patent medicine mean?

Here's a list of possible definitions for the term patent medicine:

Princeton's WordNet

  1. patent medicine(noun)

    medicine that is protected by a patent and available without a doctor's prescription


  1. patent medicine(Noun)

    A medicine that is protected by a patent.

  2. patent medicine(Noun)

    Any medicine with a proprietary formula which can be bought without a prescription, irrespective of whether it is protected by a patent.


  1. Patent medicine

    A patent medicine, also known as a nostrum (from the Latin nostrum remedium, or "our remedy") is a commercial product advertised (usually heavily) as a purported over-the-counter medicine, without regard to its effectiveness. Patent medicines were one of the first major product categories that the advertising industry promoted; patent medicine promoters pioneered many advertising and sales techniques that were later used for other products. Patent medicine advertising often marketed products as being medical panaceas (or at least a treatment for a large number of diseases) and emphasized exotic ingredients and endorsements from purported experts or celebrities, which may or may have not been true. Patent medicines were increasingly constricted in the United States in the early 20th century as the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission added ever-increasing regulations to prevent fraud, unintentional poisoning and deceptive advertising. Sellers of liniments, claimed to contain snake oil and falsely promoted as a cure-all, made the snake oil salesman a lasting symbol for a charlatan.


  1. Patent medicine

    Patent medicines are compounds promoted and sold as medical cures that do not work as promoted. "Patent medicine" is a misnomer since in most cases, although products might be trademarked, they are not patented. In ancient times, patent medicine was sometimes called nostrum remedium. The promotion of patent medicines was one of the first major products highlighted by the advertising industry, and many advertising and sales techniques were pioneered by patent medicine promoters. Patent medicine advertising often promoted the advantages of exotic ingredients, even though their actual effects came from more prosaic drugs. One group of patent medicines — liniments that allegedly contained snake oil, supposedly a panacea — made snake oil salesman a lasting synonym for a charlatan.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of patent medicine in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of patent medicine in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

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