patent medicine


a medicine sold without a prescription in drugstores or by sales representatives, and usually protected by a trademark.
a medicine distributed by a company having a patent on its manufacture.

Origin of patent medicine

First recorded in 1760–70 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for patent medicine

medication, proprietary

Examples from the Web for patent medicine

Historical Examples of patent medicine

  • Of course, the patent-medicine venders had long since reached it.

    Across America

    James F. Rusling

  • The newspaper which refuses to aid the patent-medicine people is marked.

    The Great American Fraud

    Samuel Hopkins Adams

  • It was just at this time that the patent-medicine man came along.

    Modern Americans

    Chester Sanford

  • Of course it has the patent-medicine flavor, too; Detroit, by her "slogan," is a cure-all.

    Abroad at Home

    Julian Street

  • Don't run away with the idea that conversion is a patent-medicine.

    Mr. Prohack

    E. Arnold Bennett

British Dictionary definitions for patent medicine

patent medicine


a medicine protected by a patent and available without a doctor's prescription
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

patent medicine in Medicine

patent medicine



A nonprescription drug or other medical preparation that is often protected by a trademark.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.