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Modern Latin, neuter singular of Latin succēdāneus (acting as substitute).


  • IPA(key): /sʌksɪˈdeɪnɪəm/
  • (file)


succedaneum (plural succedaneums or succedanea)

  1. A substitute, replacement for something else, particularly of a medicine used in place of another.
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, “chapter XIII, Democracy”, in Past and Present, American edition, Boston, Mass.: Charles C[offin] Little and James Brown, published 1843, →OCLC, book III (The Modern Worker):
      It is not your purses that suffer; your farm-rents, your commerces, your mill-revenues, loud as ye lament over these; no, it is not these alone, but a far deeper than these: it is your Souls that lie dead, crushed down under despicable Nightmares, Atheisms, Brain-fumes; and are not Souls at all, but mere succedanea for salt to keep your bodies and their appetites from putrefying!
    • 1857, Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers. [], copyright edition, volume (please specify |volume=I or II), Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, published 1859, →OCLC, page 231:
      It had not been ordered by Mr. Rerechild, the Barchester doctor whom she employed; and then the young mother mentioned some shockingly modern succedaneum, which Mr. Rerechild's new lights had taught him to recommend.
    • 1968, Frederick Exley, A Fan’s Notes, page 385:
      Because it is only a dream, and as such no succedaneum for life, I fight very well; considering that they have all jumped in now and I am being beaten bloody and senseless by a phalanx of cashmere clubs, I hold my legs much longer than I should, hold them until I am suddenly engulfed by this new, this incomprehensible America.
    • 2002, Laurence Urdang, New York Times Everyday Reader’s Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused, and Mispronounced words: Words We Know (until someone asks us what they mean), foreword, →ISBN:
      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, page 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.


Derived terms[edit]




  1. inflection of succēdāneus:
    1. nominative/accusative/vocative neuter singular
    2. accusative masculine singular