[ nos-truhm ]
/ ˈnɒs trəm /
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a medicine sold with false or exaggerated claims and with no demonstrable value; quack medicine.
a scheme, theory, device, etc., especially one to remedy social or political ills; panacea: The party was pushing the nostrum of corporate tax reduction, as if that would undo decades of industrial job loss.
a medicine made by the person who recommends it.
a patent medicine.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of nostrum

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin: literally, “our, ours” (neuter singular of noster ), with a noun such as remedium “remedy, cure” being understood; referring to the seller's calling the drug “our” drug
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for nostrum

British Dictionary definitions for nostrum

/ (ˈnɒstrəm) /


a patent or quack medicine
a favourite remedy, as for political or social problems

Word Origin for nostrum

C17: from Latin: our own (make), from noster our
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

Medical definitions for nostrum

[ nŏstrəm ]


A medicine whose effectiveness is unproved and whose ingredients are usually secret; a quack remedy.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.