One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural succedanealiterary, dated
A substitute, especially for a medicine or drug.
- ‘In lieu of me, you will have a very charming succedaneum, Lady Harriet Stanhope.’
- ‘There is nothing so pleasant as to give oneself trouble for a person who is worth one's while. For the best of us, the study of the arts, a taste for old things, collections, gardens are all mere ersatz, succedanea, alibis.’
Early 17th century: modern Latin, neuter of Latin succedaneus ‘following after’, from succedere ‘come close after’ (see succeed).
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