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Meaning of placebo

pla•ce•bo

Pronunciation: (plu-sē'bō for 1 plä-chā'bō for 2), [key]
— pl. -bos, -boes.
    1. a substance having no pharmacological effect but given merely to satisfy a patient who supposes it to be a medicine.
    2. a substance having no pharmacological effect but administered as a control in testing experimentally or clinically the efficacy of a biologically active preparation.
  1. the vespers of the office for the dead: so called from the initial word of the first antiphon, taken from Psalm 114:9 of the Vulgate.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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