magic bullet

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magic bullet

1. A drug, treatment, or medical therapy that provides an immediate cure to an ailment, disease, or condition without negative side effects or consequences. Despite the amazing leaps in medical technology and knowledge, we're still quite a ways off from developing a magic bullet in cancer treatment. Beware any person or company trying to sell you a magic bullet for your health problems. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
2. Something that provides an immediate and extremely effective solution to a given problem or difficulty, especially one that is normally very complex or hard to resolve. There's no magic bullet that will solve the homelessness crisis in this country.
See also: bullet, magic
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

magic bullet

verb
See also: bullet, magic
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

magic bullet

A fail-safe solution to a problem. The term was coined by Paul Ehrlich (1854–1915), who won the 1908 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. He gave the name to a compound that selectively targeted a bacterium without affecting other organisms, specifically the agent causing syphilis. The name soon was transferred to other curative compounds, and later to other kinds of problem. For example, “The Federal Reserve has no magic bullet for dealing with high unemployment.”
See also: bullet, magic
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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