Date: 1700-1800
Language: Latin
Origin: 'I shall please', from placere; PLEASE2


pla‧ce‧bo plural placebos [countable]
1MI a harmless substance given to a sick person instead of medicine, without telling them it is not real. Placebos are often used in tests in which some people take real medicine and others take a placebo, so that doctors can compare the results to see if the real medicine works properly.

placebo effect

when someone feels better after taking a placebo, even though it has not had any effect on their body

Dictionary results for "placebo"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.