I just finished reading Ayn Rand's wonderful Fountainhead, but one point that escaped me was Rand's near-constant use of the word bromide to refer to something disappointing, or a "bummer" in the vernacular.
When I searched online, I only found chemistry references....does anyone know what it means? Can anyone identify the etymology of this word?

  • 1
    bromide: 2 a. A commonplace remark or notion; a platitude. See Synonyms at cliché. b. A tiresome person; a bore. bromide a. a drug that makes a person calm b: a statement that is intended to make people feel happier or calmer but that is not original or effective.
    – choster
    May 8, 2014 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


You didn't search very hard. Wikipedia has a clear enough answer.

A bromide is a phrase or platitude that, having been employed excessively, suggests insincerity or a lack of originality in the speaker.

(the literary reference derives from the chemical one, btw.)

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