AskDefine | Define panacea

Dictionary Definition

panacea n : hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases; once sought by the alchemists [syn: nostrum, cure-all]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Panacea



From panacea#Latin < (panakeia) < (panakēs) "all-healing" < (pan-) "all" + (akos) "cure"


  • , /ˌpæn.əˈsiː.ə/
  • Rhymes with: -iə


  1. A remedy believed to cure all disease and prolong life that was originally sought by alchemists; a cure-all.
  2. Something that will solve all problems.
    A monorail will be a panacea for our traffic woes.
  3. A particular plant believed to provide a cure-all.


remedy believed to cure all disease
something that will solve all problems
particular plant

See also





From (panakeia) < (panakēs) "all-healing" < (pan-) "all" + (akos) "cure"


  1. A particular kind of plant, believed to cure all diseases.
  2. panacea, catholicon.



  1. panacea

Extensive Definition

In Greek mythology, Panacea (Greek Πανάκεια, Panakeia) was the goddess of healing. She was the daughter of Asclepius, god of medicine, and the granddaughter of Apollo, god of healing (among other things).
Panacea and her five sisters each performed a facet of Apollo's art: Panacea was the goddess of cures, Iaso was the goddess of recuperation, Hygieia was the goddess of disease prevention, Aceso was the goddess of recovery, Meditrina was the goddess of longevity, and Aglaea was the goddess of natural beauty.
Panacea also had four brothers — Podaleirus, one of the two kings of Tricca, who had a flair for diagnostics, and Machaon, the other king of Tricca, who was a master surgeon (these two took part in the Trojan War until Machaon was killed by Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons); Telesphoros, who devoted his life to serving Asclepius; and Aratus, her step-brother, who was a Greek hero and the patron/liberator of Sicyon.
Panacea was said to have a poultice or potion with which she healed the sick. This brought about the concept of the panacea in medicine.


panacea in Breton: Panakeia
panacea in Bulgarian: Панацея
panacea in German: Panakeia
panacea in Modern Greek (1453-): Πανάκεια
panacea in Spanish: Panacea (mitología)
panacea in French: Panacée
panacea in Italian: Panacea
panacea in Dutch: Panacea
panacea in Japanese: パナケイア
panacea in Polish: Panakeja
panacea in Ukrainian: Панакея
Panacea also lived in a small village occupied by indomitable Guals as depicted in the many fabels of Asterix and Obelix
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