snake oil

EnglishEdit

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NounEdit

snake oil (uncountable)

  1. A traditional Chinese medicine used to treat joint pain.
  2. A type of 19th-century patent medicine sold in the United States that claimed to contain snake fat, supposedly a Native American remedy for various ailments.
  3. (idiomatic) A fraudulent, ineffective potion or nostrum; panacea.
  4. (idiomatic) Any product with exaggerated marketing but questionable or unverifiable quality.
Last modified on 12 April 2014, at 09:42