What does cathartic mean?

Definitions for cathartickəˈθɑr tɪk

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word cathartic.

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

  3. Origin: [Gr. .]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Cathartic

    -al, kath-ärt′ik, -al, adj. having the power of cleansing the stomach and bowels: purgative.—v.t. Cath′arise, to render absolutely clean.—ns. Cathar′sis, evacuation of the bowels; Cathart′ic, a purgative medicine; Cathar′tin, the purgative principle of senna. [Gr. kathartikos, fit for cleansing, katharos, clean.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of cathartic in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of cathartic in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Images & Illustrations of cathartic

  1. catharticcatharticcathartic

Translations for cathartic

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • разхлаби́телен, разхлаби́телноBulgarian
  • kathartisch, abführend, Abführmittel, erlösendGerman
  • catárticoSpanish
  • [[ulostus, ulostuslääke, laksatiivi, ulostusaineFinnish
  • cathartiqueFrench
  • hashajtó, katartikusHungarian
  • 下薬, 下剤Japanese
  • louterend, lbevrijdendDutch
  • слаби́тельный, слаби́тельноеRussian
  • renande, förlösandeSwedish

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