AskDefine | Define succedaneum

Dictionary Definition

succedaneum n : (medicine) something that can be used as a substitute (especially any medicine that may be taken in place of another) [also: succedanea (pl)]

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Modern Latin, neuter singular of Latin succedaneus ‘acting as substitute’, from succedere ‘come close after’, from sub- + cedere ‘go’.


  • /sʌksɪ'deɪnɪəm/


  1. a substitute, replacement for something else, particularly of a medicine used in place of another.
    • 2002, Laurence Urdang, New York Times Everyday Reader's Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused, and Mispronounced words subtitled "Words We Know (until someone asks us what they mean)" ISBN 1579120601 Foreword
      "Not a succedaneum for satisfying the nympholepsy of nullifidians, it is hoped that the haecceity of this enchiridion of arcane and recondite sesquipedalian items will appeal to the oniomania of an eximious Gemeinschaft whose legerity and sophrosyne, whose Sprachgefühl and orexis will find more than fugacious fulfillment among its felicific pages."
    • 2004, Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon, ISBN 0312423209, p. 205.
      Mason, hands in the dough, watch’d his father openly, feeling the pain in his arms, the pale mass seething with live resistance,– hungry peoples’ invention to fill in for times of no Meat, and presently a Succedaneum for Our Lord’s own Flesh…The baker’s trade terrified the young man.
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