[ ley-i-tril ]
/ ˈleɪ ɪ trɪl /


a controversial drug, purported to cure cancer, prepared from the pits of apricots or peaches and containing about 6 percent cyanide by weight: banned by the FDA.

Origin of laetrile

1950–55; said to be a contraction of l-mandelonitrile, equivalent to l- + German Mandel almond + -o- + nitrile Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for laetrile


/ (ˈleɪəˌtraɪl) /


an extract of peach stones, containing amygdalin, sold as a cure for cancer but judged useless and possibly dangerous by medical scientists

Word Origin for laetrile

C20: from laevorotatory + nitrile
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for laetrile


[ lāĭ-trĭl′, -trəl ]


A drug derived from amygdalin from apricot pits and purported to have antineoplastic properties.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.