• (British) IPA: /pləˈsiː.bəʊ/
  • (America) IPA: /pləˈsi.boʊ/

placebo (plural placebos)

  1. (medicine) A dummy medicine containing no active ingredients; an inert treatment. [from 18th c.]
    • 2010, Edzard Ernst, The Guardian, 22 Feb 2010:
      The acid test, I thought, was whether homeopathic remedies behave differently from placebos when submitted to clinical trials.
  2. (Roman Catholicism) The vespers sung in the office for the dead. [from 13th c.]
    • 2011, Thomas Penn, Winter King, Penguin 2012, p. 349:
      There the placebo, the office for the dead, was sung, and a vigil kept throughout the night.

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