snake oilsnake oil
- A worthless preparation fraudulently peddled as a cure for many ills.
- Speech or writing intended to deceive; humbug.
- A traditional Chinese medicine used to treat joint pain.
- A type of 19th century patent medicine sold in the United States that claimed to contain snake fat, supposedly a Native American remedy for various ailments.
- (idiomatic) A fraudulent, ineffective potion or nostrum; panacea.
- (idiomatic) Any product with exaggerated marketing but questionable or unverifiable quality.
snake oil - Computer Definition
A product that has been proven to not live up to the vendor's marketing hype. The term comes from the 1800s in which elixirs and potions of all kinds, even ones that supposedly included the oils from snakes, were sold as a cure for everything that ailed a person.