1. a remedy for all disease or ills; cure-all.
  2. an answer or solution for all problems or difficulties: His economic philosophy is a good one, but he tries to use it as a panacea.

Origin of panacea

1540–50; < Latin < Greek panákeia, equivalent to panake-, stem of panakḗs all-healing (pan- pan- + akḗs a cure) + -ia -ia
Related formspan·a·ce·an, adjective

Synonyms for panacea

1, 2. elixir, nostrum. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for panacean


  1. a remedy for all diseases or ills
Derived Formspanacean, adjective

Word Origin for panacea

C16: via Latin from Greek panakeia healing everything, from pan all + akēs remedy
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 panacean



"universal remedy," 1540s, from Latin panacea, a herb (variously identified) that would heal all illnesses, from Greek panakeia "cure-all," from panakes "all-healing," from pan- "all" (see pan-) + akos "cure," from iasthai "to heal" (see -iatric). Earlier in English as panace (1510s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

panacean in Medicine


  1. A remedy claimed to be curative of all problems or disorders; a cure-all.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.