Definitions for cathartickəˈθɑr tɪk

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word cathartic

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

ca•thar•tickəˈθɑr tɪk(adj.)

  1. of or pertaining to catharsis.

    Category: Pharmacology

  2. Also, ca•thar′ti•cal. evacuating the bowels; purgative.

    Category: Pharmacology

  3. (n.)a purgative.

    Category: Pharmacology

Origin of cathartic:

1605–15; < LL catharticus < Gk kathartikós fit for cleansing

Princeton's WordNet

  1. purgative, cathartic, physic, aperient(adj)

    a purging medicine; stimulates evacuation of the bowels

  2. cathartic, psychotherapeutic(adj)

    emotionally purging

  3. cathartic, releasing(adj)

    emotionally purging (of e.g. art)

  4. cathartic, evacuant, purgative(adj)

    strongly laxative


  1. cathartic(Noun)

    A laxative

  2. cathartic(Adjective)

    purgative; inducing catharsis

  3. cathartic(Adjective)

    That releases emotional tension, especially after an overwhelming experience

  4. Origin: From κάθαρσις

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cathartic(adj)

    alt. of Catharical

  2. Cathartic(noun)

    a medicine that promotes alvine discharges; a purge; a purgative of moderate activity


  1. Cathartic

    In medicine, a cathartic is a substance that accelerates defecation. This is in contrast to a laxative, which is a substance which eases defecation, usually by softening feces. It is possible for a substance to be both a laxative and a cathartic. However, agents such as psyllium seed husks increase the bulk of the feces. Cathartics such as sorbitol, magnesium citrate, magnesium sulfate, or sodium sulfate were previously used as a form of gastrointestinal decontamination following poisoning via ingestion. They are no longer routinely recommended for poisonings. High-dose cathartics may be an effective means of ridding the lower gastrointestinal tract of toxins; however, they carry a risk of electrolyte imbalances and dehydration. During the 1918 flu pandemic, cathartics were used in the Fort Lewis, WA, area. An original report by Elizabeth J. Davies, a public health nurse, mentions cathartics, pneumonia jackets and copious amount of drinks as treatments for influenza patients. Blood is a cathartic. Gastrointestinal bleeding will cause diarrhea.


Find a translation for the cathartic definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these cathartic definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"cathartic." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 20 Dec. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for cathartic?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for cathartic: