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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ With diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, it is less obvious how the placebo effect works.
▪ However, you then have another problem called the placebo effect.
▪ In each study, the rates in the vitamin A and placebo groups were similar.
▪ There were no improvements in the placebo group despite the fact that the patients were on full orthodox first-line treatment.
▪ Because of ethical considerations no placebo group was established and it is conceded that this inevitably limits the strength of overall conclusions made.
▪ There was no difference between the aspirin and placebo groups in the incidence of cerebral haemorrhage.
▪ A more recent trial in osteoarthritis showed no effect from Rhus toxicodendron when compared with placebo.
▪ When the tPA test is over, doctors will find out whether they gave her a useless placebo injection.
▪ The control subjects did not receive either placebo or loperamide oxide tablets but underwent an identical series of measurements on one occasion.
▪ Subjects were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or the cholesterol-lowering drug pravastatin.
▪ Thirty two of the remaining patients were randomised to receive cisapride, and 34 to receive placebo.
▪ The other half will receive an inactive placebo.
▪ A fourth group will receive a placebo and standard medical care.
▪ For example, instead of receiving vitamin C as the experimental group is doing, the control group receives a placebo.
▪ When the code was broken, it was found that he had been taking placebo rather than ursodeoxycholic acid.
▪ A placebo, superficial and cosy, to lull the world into no longer questioning.
▪ Again, the placebo could be powerful because it meets some psychological need for attention and treatment.
▪ Because of ethical considerations no placebo group was established and it is conceded that this inevitably limits the strength of overall conclusions made.
▪ In each study, the rates in the vitamin A and placebo groups were similar.
▪ Subjects were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or the cholesterol-lowering drug pravastatin.
▪ When the tPA test is over, doctors will find out whether they gave her a useless placebo injection.
▪ Wright and Burton performed a crossover study of evening primrose oil and placebo in 99 adults and children with atopic eczema.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Placebo \Pla*ce"bo\, n. [L., I shall please, fut. of placere to please.]

  1. (R. C. Ch.) The first antiphon of the vespers for the dead.

  2. (Med.) A prescription with no pharmacological activity given to a patient to humor or satisfy the desire for medical treatment.

  3. (Med.) a dose of a compound having no pharmacological activity given to a subject in a medical experiment as part of a control experiment in a test of the effectiveness of another, active pharmacological agent.

    To sing placebo, to agree with one in his opinion; to be complaisant to.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 13c., name given to the rite of Vespers of the Office of the Dead, so called from the opening of the first antiphon, "I will please the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm cxiv:9), from Latin placebo "I shall please," future indicative of placere "to please" (see please). Medical sense is first recorded 1785, "a medicine given more to please than to benefit the patient." Placebo effect attested from 1900.


n. 1 (context Roman Catholicism English) The vespers sung in the office for the dead. (from 13th c.) 2 (context medicine English) A dummy medicine containing no active ingredients; an inert treatment. (from 18th c.)

  1. n. an innocuous or inert medication; given as a pacifier or to the control group in experiments on the efficacy of a drug

  2. (Roman Catholic Church) vespers of the office for the dead

  3. [also: placeboes (pl)]

Placebo (album)

Placebo is the eponymous debut studio album by English alternative rock band Placebo. It was released on 16 July 1996 by record label Hut. It is the only album recorded with drummer Robert Schultzberg before his departure from the group.

The album was a commercial success in the UK, reaching number 5 in the UK Albums Chart. The also spawned five singles, including " Nancy Boy" and " 36 Degrees". The album was remastered and reissued in 2006 for its tenth anniversary, including demos and a DVD featuring live performances and music videos from the album.

Placebo (at funeral)

An obsolete usage of the word placebo was to mean someone who came to a funeral, claiming (often falsely) a connection with the deceased to try to get a share of any food and/or drink being handed out. This usage originated from the phrase "placebo Domino in regione vivorum" in the Roman Catholic Church's Office of the Dead ritual.


A placebo ( ; Latin placēbō, "I shall please" from placeō, "I please") is a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient. A person given such an ineffectual treatment will often have a perceived or actual improvement in their condition, a phenomenon commonly called the placebo effect or placebo response. Several different elements contribute to the effect, and the methods of placebo administration may be as important as the administration itself.

Placebos are an important methodological tool in medical research. Common placebos include inert tablets (like sugar pills), vehicle infusions, sham surgery, and other procedures based on false information. However, in a 2010 study, patients who knew they were receiving a placebo pill showed better improvement in condition than those who did not know the pills were placebo. It has also been shown that use of therapies about which patients are unaware is less effective than using ones that patients are informed about.

Placebo effects are the subject of scientific research aiming to understand underlying neurobiological mechanisms of action in pain relief, immunosuppression, Parkinson's disease and depression. Brain imaging techniques done by Emeran Mayer, Johanna Jarco and Matt Lieberman showed that placebo can have real, measurable effects on physiological changes in the brain. Placebos can produce some objective physiological changes, such as changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and chemical activity in the brain, in cases involving pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and some symptoms of Parkinson’s. In other cases, like asthma, the effect is purely subjective, when the patient reports improvement despite no objective change in the underlying condition.

The placebo effect is a pervasive phenomenon; in fact, it is part of the response to any active medical intervention. The placebo effect points to the importance of perception and the brain's role in physical health. The use of placebos as treatment in clinical medicine (as opposed to laboratory research) is ethically problematic as it introduces deception and dishonesty into the doctor-patient relationship. The United Kingdom Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology has stated that: "...prescribing placebos... usually relies on some degree of patient deception" and "prescribing pure placebos is bad medicine. Their effect is unreliable and unpredictable and cannot form the sole basis of any treatment on the NHS."

In 1955, Henry K. Beecher proposed that placebos could have clinically important effects. This view was notably challenged when, in 2001, a systematic review of clinical trials concluded that there was no evidence of clinically important effects, except perhaps in the treatment of pain and continuous subjective outcomes. The article received a flurry of criticism, but the authors later published a Cochrane review with similar conclusions (updated ). Most studies have attributed the difference from baseline until the end of the trial to a placebo effect, but the reviewers examined studies which had both placebo and untreated groups in order to distinguish the placebo effect from the natural progression of the disease.

Placebo (band)

Placebo are an English alternative rock band, formed in London in 1994 by singer-guitarist Brian Molko and guitarist-bassist Stefan Olsdal. The band were soon joined by drummer Robert Schultzberg, who was replaced in 1996 by Steve Hewitt. Hewitt parted ways with the band in 2007 due to personal and musical differences and was replaced the following year by Steve Forrest, who left the band in 2015 to pursue his own musical career.

Placebo are known for their androgynous image and musical content. To date, they have released seven studio albums, all of which have reached the top 20 in the United Kingdom, and have sold around 11 million records worldwide.

Placebo (disambiguation)

Placebo may refer to:

  • Placebo, a treatment without intrinsic therapeutic value, but administered as if it were a therapy, either in medical treatment or in clinical trials
  • Placebo (band), an alternative rock band from England
    • Placebo (album), the band's self-titled debut album
  • Placebo, a jazz band fronted by Marc Moulin
    • Placebo, a 1974 album
  • Placebo (at funeral) (obsolete usage), a singer of the Office of the Dead which includes the phrase "placebo Domino" meaning "please the Lord", and from that someone who falsely claims a connection to the deceased to get a share of the funeral meal

Usage examples of "placebo".

But all the recent data shows that ginkgo offers no better protection from the effects of aging than a placebo.

Psalter, in the same character, a Placebo and a Dirige, with a Hymnal and Collectary, for 4 s.

As thou hast heard, assented here right now To my purpose: Placebo, what say ye?

Drug companies routinely compare the effectiveness of their drugs against placebos given to patients with the same disease who had no way to tell the difference between the drug and the placebo.

Even the name of this effect seems to be influenced by scientific materialism, for a placebo, by definition, is a harmless, unmedicated preparation given as a medicine to patients either to humor them or trick them into believing they are taking actual medication.

But the fact that the placebo effect worked on the girl's mind rather than her body did not make it any less real, or less useful.

And, whether it was some kind of placebo effect, spontaneous healing or remission, or something completely outside Jos's medical experience, the fact was that a Silent's presence at or near a patient's side seemed to speed recuperation.

To what degree belief can make a thing real we do not know, but the so-called placebo effect makes a case for it.

The placebo effect of this reputation had indeed preserved many a sadly shattered sailor, and he was much caressed aboard.

It is the only scientific design that defeats the illogical susceptibility of intelligent beings to placebo effects and terminal self-delusion.

The Humans had discovered such chemicals at the root of placebo effects and called them endorphins.

Their exchanges were littered with talk of tax avoidance, of selling between subsidiaries to inflate prices artificially, of packaging placebos as panaceas.