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placebo

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noun
  • (medical) harmless substance given as if it were medicine to calm a patient who mistakenly believes he is ill [Barron]
  • an inert or innocuous substance used especially in controlled experiments testing the efficacy of another substance (as a drug) [Taisha]

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Wiktionary:
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WordNet:
placebo @ wordnet.princeton.edu
Merriam-Webster Online:
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MSN Encarta:
placebo @ Encarta
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:
placebo @ AHD provided by Yahoo! Education
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