pla·ce·bo (plə-sē’bō)
n. pl. pla·ce·bos or pla·ce·boes 1) a) A substance that has positive effects as a result of a patient's perception that it is beneficial rather than as a result of a causative ingredient. b) An inactive substance or preparation used as a control in an experiment or test to determine the effectiveness of a medicinal drug. 2) Something of no intrinsic remedial value that is used to appease or reassure another. 3) (plä-chā’bō) Roman Catholic Church The service or office of vespers for the dead.
[Latin placēbō, I shall please, first person sing. future tense of Latin placēre, to please; see plāk-1. Sense 3, from Late Latin placēbō, I shall please, the first word of the first antiphon of the vespers service (taken from a phrase in the following psalm, placēbō Dominō in regiōne vīvōrum, "I shall please the Lord in the land of the living").]
Word History: Like the word dirge, placebo has its origin in the Office of the Dead, the cycle of prayers traditionally sung or recited for the repose of the souls of the dead. The traditional liturgical language of the Roman Catholic Church is Latin, and in Latin, the first word of the first antiphon of the vespers service is placēbō, "I shall please." This word is taken from a phrase in the psalm text that is recited after the antiphon, placēbō Dominō in regiōne vīvōrum, "I shall please the Lord in the land of the living." The vespers service of the Office of the Dead came to be called placebo in Middle English, and the expression sing placebo came to mean "to flatter, be obsequious." Chaucer, for example, uses the phrase on two occasions. In the Summoner's Tale, a friar offers the following piece of advice: Beth war, therfor, with lordes how ye pleye. / Singeth placebo and 'I shal if I kan,' "Be wary, therefore, how you deal with lords. / Sing 'Placebo' and 'I shall if I can.'" Placebo eventually came to mean "flatterer" and "sycophant." In the 1700s, placebo began to be used of prescriptions written by a physician solely to please a patient, as by satisfying the patient's desire to take medicine. In many cases, the patient would actually benefit, thanks to what became known as the placebo effect. Later, placebo came to refer to neutral substances used in controlled studies testing the effectiveness of medications.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • PLACEBO — PLACEB Produit sans activité pharmacologique mais présenté de façon identique au produit actif, ce qui permet de tester la validité de ce dernier dans un essai thérapeutique. Il n’est pas rare qu’un malade se voie soulagé de ses douleurs ou… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Placébo — Placebo (homonymie) Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Placebo — Sn wirkstofflose Imitation eines Medikaments per. Wortschatz fach. (20. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. placebo.    Ebenso nndl. placebo, ne. placebo, nfrz. placebo, nschw. placebo, nnorw. placebo. Das englische Wort geht auf den Anfang von… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • placebo — PLACÉBO s.n. (farm.) Medicament (sau preparat) inactiv prescris fie pentru a i face plăcere pacientului, fie în scopuri experimentale, pentru a studia efectele farmaceutice ale medicamentului şi reacţiile psihice ale pacientului. ♢ (Adjectival)… …   Dicționar Român

  • Placebo — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Placebo puede significar: La sustancia placebo, ver también efecto placebo. Placebo, un grupo originario de Londres, Inglaterra. Obtenido de Placebo Categoría: Wikipedia:Desambiguación …   Wikipedia Español

  • placebo — m. farm. Sustancia que se prescribe como fármaco pero que no posee ninguna propiedad farmacológica específica. Se utiliza especialmente cuando se hace un estudio sobre un determinado fármaco y se desea que los pacientes no estén influenciados por …   Diccionario médico

  • placebo — (n.) early 13c., name given to the rite of Vespers of the Office of the Dead, so called from the opening of the first antiphon, I will please the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm cxiv:9), from L. placebo I shall please, future indicative of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Placebo — Pla*ce bo, n. [L., I shall please, fut. of placere to please.] 1. (R. C. Ch.) The first antiphon of the vespers for the dead. [1913 Webster] 2. (Med.) A prescription with no pharmacological activity given to a patient to humor or satisfy the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • placebo — placȇbo m <G a> DEFINICIJA farm. inaktivna supstanca ili pripravak, daje se pacijentu kako bi se zadovoljila njegova želja za medikamentnom terapijom, ili se primjenjuje u kontroliranim studijama zbog procjene djelotvornosti nekog lijeka… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • placebo — (Del lat. placebo, 1.ª pers. de sing. del fut. imperf. de indic. de placēre). m. Med. Sustancia que, careciendo por sí misma de acción terapéutica, produce algún efecto curativo en el enfermo, si este la recibe convencido de que esa sustancia… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • placebo — [plə sē′bō] n. pl. placebos or placeboes [ME < L, I shall please] 1. R.C.Ch. the first antiphon of the vespers for the dead, beginning with the word placebo 2. a harmless, unmedicated preparation given as a medicine merely to humor a patient,… …   English World dictionary

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