Definition of Snake oil

1. Noun. (medicine) any of various liquids sold as medicine (as by a travelling medicine show) but medically worthless.

Category relationships: Medical Specialty, Medicine
Generic synonyms: Liquid



2. Noun. Communication (written or spoken) intended to deceive.
Exact synonyms: Humbug
Generic synonyms: Deceit, Deception, Misrepresentation

Definition of Snake oil

1. Noun. A traditional Chinese medicine used to treat joint pain. ¹

2. Noun. A type of 19th century patent medicine sold in the United States that claimed to contain snake fat, supposedly a Native American remedy for various ailments. ¹

3. Noun. (idiomatic) A fraudulent, ineffective potion or nostrum; panacea. ¹

4. Noun. (idiomatic) Any product with exaggerated marketing but questionable or unverifiable quality. ¹

¹ Source: wiktionary.com

Snake Oil Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Snake Oil

snake charming
snake dance
snake doctor
snake eagle
snake eagles
snake eyes
snake feeder
snake fence
snake fern
snake fruit
snake god
snake hawk
snake in the grass
snake mackerel
snake muishond
snake oil (current term)
snake palm
snake pit
snake plant
snake polypody
snake proteinase
snake rake
snake rakes
snake venom
snake venoms
snake wood
snakeberries
snakeberry
snakebird
snakebirds

Literary usage of Snake oil

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Personal Finance by Robert S. Rosefsky (2001)
"snake oil SAM'S MISCELLANEA Advance Fee Loan Schemes snake oil Sam makes bundles from a pitch known as the advance fee loan scheme. ..."

2. The Popular Science Monthly by Harry Houdini Collection (Library of Congress) (1888)
"The belief in " snake-oil " as a remedy is probably only one phase of the feeling which so often and among such different races has given rise to ..."

3. American Wit and Humor by Joel Chandler Harris (1907)
"Moved with compassion, and having heard that snake oil was good for the Rheumatiz, he took it home and placed it on the Hearth, where it shortly began to ..."

4. Economics for Real People: An Introduction to the Austrian School by Gene Callahan (2004)
"... motor oil, snake oil." When I first did so, I was puzzled as to how a manufacturer could be uncertain about just which oils were in its product. ..."

5. Elements of Zoology by Charles Frederick Holder, Joseph Bassett Holder (1885)
"... is obtained from the snake. Oil of the copperhead is also used in medicine. Rattle, snake leather is used in bags, cases, etc. ..."

6. Little Masterpieces of American Wit and Humor by Thomas Lansing Masson (1903)
"Moved with compassion, and having heard that snake oil was good for the Rheumatiz, he took it home and placed it on the Hearth, where it shortly began to ..."

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