snake oil

See synonyms for snake oil on
  1. any of various liquid concoctions of questionable medical value sold as an all-purpose curative, especially by traveling hucksters.

  2. Slang. deceptive talk or actions; hooey; bunkum: The governor promised to lower taxes, but it was the same old snake oil.

Origin of snake oil

An Americanism dating back to 1925–30

Other words from snake oil

  • snake-oil, adjective

Words Nearby snake oil Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use snake oil in a sentence

Other Idioms and Phrases with snake oil

snake oil

see under banana oil.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.