[nos-truh m]


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.
a medicine made by the person who recommends it.
a patent medicine.

Nearby words

  1. nostradamus,
  2. nostratic,
  3. nostril,
  4. nostro account,
  5. nostromo,
  6. nosy,
  7. nosy parker,
  8. not,
  9. not a bad sort,
  10. not a bit

Origin of nostrum

1595–1605; < Latin nostrum our, ours (neuter singular of noster); referring to the seller's calling the drug “our” drug Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nostrums

British Dictionary definitions for nostrums



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

Word Origin and History for nostrums



"quack medicine," c.1600, from Latin nostrum remedium "our remedy," presumably that prepared by the person offering it, from Latin nostrum, neuter of noster "our," from nos "we," from PIE *nos (see us).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for nostrums




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.