One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A detrimental effect on health produced by psychological or psychosomatic factors such as negative expectations of treatment or prognosis.
- ‘It is also worth noting that the placebo has a negative counterpart - called a nocebo.’
- ‘Section Four, ‘Essays and Commentaries,’ examines aromatherapy and essential oils and homeopathy, the placebo effect, and herbs as a token and nocebos.’
- ‘Because of ethical concerns, nocebos are not commonly used in medical practice or research.’
1960s: from Latin, literally ‘I shall cause harm’, from nocere ‘to harm’, on the pattern of placebo.
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