Bread-and-circuses meaning

Offerings, such as benefits or entertainments, intended to placate discontent or distract attention from a policy or situation.
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Something, esp. something lavish, regarded as a mindless or vulgar diversion intended to keep the masses docile.
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Food and entertainment provided by the state.
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Origin of bread-and-circuses

  • Translation of Latin pānem et circēnsēs a phrase coined by the Roman poet Juvenal pānem accusative singular of pānis bread et and circēnsēs circus games

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 1914 translation of the Roman poet Juvenal's Latin remark panem et circenses (“bread and circuses"). ("Duas tantum res anxius optat, Panem et circenses")

    From Wiktionary