What does catharsis mean?

Definitions for catharsiskəˈθɑr sɪs; -siz

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. catharsis, katharsis, abreaction(noun)

    (psychoanalysis) purging of emotional tensions

  2. catharsis, katharsis, purgation(noun)

    purging the body by the use of a cathartic to stimulate evacuation of the bowels


  1. catharsis(Noun)

    A release of emotional tension after an overwhelming vicarious experience, resulting in the purging or purification of the emotions, as through watching a dramatic production (especially a tragedy). Coined in this sense by Aristotle.

    Seeing the hero's catharsis helped her deal with the loss of her parents.

  2. catharsis(Noun)

    Any release of emotional tension to the same effect, more widely.

  3. catharsis(Noun)

    A purification or cleansing, especially emotional.

  4. catharsis(Noun)

    A therapeutic technique to relieve tension.

  5. catharsis(Noun)

    Purging of the digestive system.

  6. Origin: From κάθαρσις, from καθαίρω

Webster Dictionary

  1. Catharsis(noun)

    a natural or artificial purgation of any passage, as of the mouth, bowels, etc

  2. Origin: [NL., fr. Gr. . See Cathartic.]


  1. Catharsis

    Catharsis refers to the purification and purgation of emotions—especially pity and fear—through art or to any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration. It is a metaphor originally used by Aristotle in the Poetics to describe the effects of tragedy on the spectator.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Catharsis

    The release of ideas, thoughts, and repressed material from the unconscious, accompanied by an emotional response and relief. (From Dorland, 28th ed)

Suggested Resources

  1. catharsis

    Song lyrics by catharsis -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by catharsis on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of catharsis in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of catharsis in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Radoslava Habul:

    If those who committed crimes go through the catharsis, we shall accept them and live together.

  2. Ildefonso Jaimes:

    For many remote rural communities there hasn't been an opportunity for catharsis, to talk about what has happened, most people in rural areas don't know what a psychologist is and have never met one. Some people say :.

  3. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

    The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.

Images & Illustrations of catharsis

  1. catharsiscatharsiscatharsis

Translations for catharsis

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"catharsis." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 19 Apr. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/catharsis>.

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