Learn English – a bromide


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?

Best Answer

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.)