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English definition of “placebo”

placebo

noun [C] uk   /pləˈsiː.bəʊ/ us    /-boʊ/ (plural placebos)
a substance given to someone who is told that it is a particular medicine, either to make that person feel as if they are getting better or to compare the effect of the particular medicine when given to others: She was only given a placebo, but she claimed she got better - that's the placebo effect. something that is given to try to satisfy a person who has not been given the thing they really want: These small concessions have been made as a placebo to stop the workers making further demands.
(Definition of placebo from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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