snake oil

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snake oil

n.
1. A worthless preparation fraudulently peddled as a cure for many ills.
2. Speech or writing intended to deceive; humbug.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

snake oil

n
1. any pseudo-medical remedy endorsed by a non-qualified person
2. talk that is intended to impress others but is insincere or deceiving
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

snake′ oil`


n.
a liquid concoction of questionable medical value sold as an all-purpose curative, esp. by traveling hucksters.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.snake oil - (medicine) any of various liquids sold as medicine (as by a travelling medicine show) but medically worthless
medical specialty, medicine - the branches of medical science that deal with nonsurgical techniques
liquid - a substance that is liquid at room temperature and pressure
2.snake oil - communication (written or spoken) intended to deceive
deception, misrepresentation, deceit - a misleading falsehood
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Now you have now learnt what Mrs May actually is, proven, behind the words, would you trust Boris Johnson to improve matters, the snake-oil salesman for Brexit, with never a single word on economic facts about the UK's future outside the EU?
Bank of England chief crying wolf WE obviously got a bargain when we made Mark Carney the Governor of the Bank of England; not only is he a superb snake-oil salesman, a perfect stand-in for Mystic Meg and/or Senna (Up Pompeii's Soothsayer), and an ideal leader writer for Old Moore's Almanac, a grown-up (well almost) version of the boy who cried wolf, he is also able (with his tarot cards and crystal ball) to predict the state of our dynamic economy to within 0.1 per cent in twenty, thirty or forty years' time (years when he is relaxing somewhere enjoying his big fat, inflation proof pension)!
5 Gus O'Donnell accusing leading Brexiteers of being snake-oil salesmen.
Get in touch Having denied that leaving had severe economic consequences Brexiters now plead with David Cameron to stay on to sort out the mess - such snake-oil salesmen.
The potentiality of a President Trump has many observers pondering Americans' susceptibility to snake-oil salesmen, making this a particularly opportune moment for a film like "Nuts," about a now-little-remembered public figure of great popular appeal nearly a century ago.
"He's a snake-oil salesman" Ex-MP George Galloway 's opinion of Chuka Umunna, who has withdrawn from the Labour leadership contest.
POTIONS He was the modern equivalent of a snake-oil salesman, flogging his internet potions to the gullible while boasting that he could make them as rich as he was.
Frontman JD Wilkes conjures images of Iggy Pop, a medicine-show snake-oil salesman and whisky priest in his harmonica-blowing theatrical antics.
The words 'appears to', incidentally, are trickery, a phrase straight from the Snake-Oil Salesman's Handbook.
I''m afraid that only non-technical Arts Graduates and money-making subsidy-collecting, snake-oil salesmen and carpet-baggers could dream up such an irrational way of generating electricity to power a populous developed country.
Seeming not to notice the contradiction, they move back-and-forth between fear mongering around an arid future and selling economic snake-oil about a prosperous tomorrow based on exploiting our surplus water today.