snake oil
noun Date: 1917 1. any of various substances or mixtures sold (as by a traveling medicine show) as medicine usually without regard to their medical worth or properties 2. poppycock, bunkum

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Snake oil — is a traditional Chinese medicine used to treat joint pain. However, the most common usage of the phrase is as a derogatory term for compounds offered as medicines which implies that they are fake, fraudulent, quackish, or ineffective. The… …   Wikipedia

  • snake oil — snake oil, adj. 1. any of various liquid concoctions of questionable medical value sold as an all purpose curative, esp. by traveling hucksters. 2. Slang. deceptive talk or actions; hooey; bunkum: The governor promised to lower taxes, but it was… …   Universalium

  • snake oil — n [U] especially AmE informal 1.) something that is claimed to be a solution to a problem, but is not effective 2.) snake oil salesman/peddler someone who deceives people by persuading them to accept false information, solutions that are not… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • snake-oil — snakeˈ oil noun Any substance or mixture without medicinal value but sold as medicine • • • Main Entry: ↑snake …   Useful english dictionary

  • snake oil — n any of various substances or mixtures sold (as by a traveling medicine show) as medicine usu. without having had the claims of their medical worth or properties substantiated by scientific tests …   Medical dictionary

  • snake oil — snake ,oil noun uncount AMERICAN something useless that someone tries to sell you, or make you believe is good …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • snake oil — Advice or medicine which is of no use …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • snake oil — snake′ oil n. a liquid concoction of questionable medical value sold as an all purpose curative, esp. by traveling hucksters …   From formal English to slang

  • snake oil — ☆ snake oil n. a liquid substance with no real medicinal value sold as a cure all or nostrum, esp. in a medicine show …   English World dictionary

  • snake oil — noun 1. (medicine) any of various liquids sold as medicine (as by a travelling medicine show) but medically worthless (Freq. 1) • Topics: ↑medicine, ↑medical specialty • Hypernyms: ↑liquid 2. communication (written or spoken) intended to deceive …   Useful english dictionary

  • Snake Oil — Schlangenöl (aus dem Englischen snake oil) ist (hauptsächlich im Bereich von Software) die Bezeichnung für ein Produkt, das wenig oder keine echte Funktion hat, aber als Wundermittel zur Lösung vieler Probleme vermarktet wird. Der Begriff… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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