Definition of placebo effect in US English:

placebo effect


  • A beneficial effect produced by a placebo drug or treatment, which cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient's belief in that treatment.

    • ‘Therefore, we cannot be certain whether our data show a specific effect of magnets, a placebo effect, or both.’
    • ‘The most well known example of generalized expectancies is the placebo effect.’
    • ‘Most people get better from most things most of the time, and merely the belief that one is being treated can, through the placebo effect, at least cause the sense of feeling better.’
    • ‘All of health care before that was the power of the placebo effect, and the charismatic health care provider.’
    • ‘An indication that regression to the mean is occurring is that patients with the worst clinical scores have the biggest placebo effect.’
    • ‘Although nearly 75% of patients reported improvement, there was also a high placebo effect.’
    • ‘This study was observational, and intravenous treatment by enthusiastic investigators has a considerable placebo effect.’
    • ‘This raises the question of whether treatment causes a placebo effect, perhaps because of the extra time spent with patients.’
    • ‘This may be attributed to a high placebo effect and the large number of poorly controlled trials in women without a pretrial diagnosis of premenstrual syndrome.’
    • ‘Since the placebo effect may depend on the patient's conscious or subconscious attitudes to treatment, this might be thought relevant.’
    • ‘Research was an important component of the course, and lectures on research methods and the placebo effect were included.’
    • ‘The incidence also explains the powerful placebo effect of some treatments.’
    • ‘Whatever the treatment, the placebo effect is always present, whether intended or unintended.’
    • ‘Overall, there is much to learn about placebo substances and the placebo effect.’
    • ‘Most health care professionals view homeopathy as relying on the placebo effect to produce results.’
    • ‘In fact, however, the placebo effect itself varies greatly, not only with the condition being treated but also with the mental outlook of the patient.’
    • ‘The interpretation is that acupuncture needling is of benefit in neck pain and that this is not attributable to a placebo effect.’
    • ‘The placebo effect is a real problem in some clinical trials.’
    • ‘In medicine we have to add double blind testing, because both physician and patient can be misled by the placebo effect of hope.’
    • ‘The main disadvantage of an open trial is the possibility of a placebo effect favouring antibiotics.’


placebo effect