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Saturday, April 21, 2018
Definitions for panchreston
  1. a proposed explanation intended to address a complex problem by trying to account for all possible contingencies but typically proving to be too broadly conceived and therefore oversimplified to be of any practical use.

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Citations for panchreston
Bunnell ... suggested that the term "fragmentation" has become a panchreston because it has become a catch-all phrase that means different things to different people. David B. Lindenmayer and Joern Fischer, Habitat Fragmentation and Landscape Change, 2006
Unfortunately, this term has by now acquired so many definitions (at least 70 by recent count) that it has become a panchreston--a term that means so many different things that it means almost nothing. Daniel Simberloff, Invasive Species: What Everyone Needs to Know, 2013
Origin of panchreston
1625-1635
English panchreston comes via Latin panchrēstos “good for everything, universal.” In Latin, its usage is restricted to medicine or derived metaphors, e.g., Pliny the Elder (a.d. 23-79) uses panchrēstos stomaticē, a phrase of two Greek words with Greek inflections, meaning “universal remedy for ailments of the mouth”; Cicero (106-43 b.c.), in one of his forensic speeches, uses panchrēstō medicāmentō “universal cure” as a scornful periphrasis for “bribe.” The original Greek adjective (and noun) pánchrēstos has the same relatively restricted meaning, i.e., to describe widely useful tools or medications. Panchreston entered English in the 17th century.
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