Word of the Day


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Origin of the word

The German word ‘Homöopathie’ was first adopted in 1824 by a German physician named Samuel Friedrich Hahnemann, who lived from 1723 to 1856. He combined the Greek ‘homoios’ with ‘patheia’ to indicate something ‘similar or of the same kind’, and a ‘disease, emotion or feeling’ respectively. The Greek ‘homoiopathes’ had the meaning ‘sympathetic, or having affections or feelings that are alike’.

The combination as homeopathy has come to represent ‘a system for the treatment of disease’ that uses small, highly diluted doses of naturally occurring substances to provide like-for-like treatment for illnesses that larger doses would cause. The premise is that this causes the body’s natural healing system to be energized.

Related words: homeopath, homeopathic.


“The recent statement by the European Academic Science Advisory Council (EASAC) concludes that there is no scientific evidence for efficacy of homeopathy which is based on three flawed research studies. Moreover, the statement has not reviewed the numerous studies that show positive outcomes for homeopathy. This selection bias seriously undermines EASAC claims that its conclusions are based on ‘excellent science-based assessments’.” The European Committee for Homeopathy. 4th October 2017: Flawed research used to discredit homeopathy.

“Prince Charles has proposed a solution to the growing crisis of antibiotic overuse in animals and humans, telling an international gathering of scientists and government officials in London that he treats his own cows and sheep with homeopathy.” Guardian. 12th May 2016: Prince Charles: I use homeopathy in animals to cut antibiotic use.


1. a way of treating illnesses by using small amounts of natural substances that in large amounts would cause the illness. It is a form of complementary medicine. A person who treats people using homeopathy is called a homeopath.

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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