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

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Jake Gyllenhaal:

    It was incredibly cathartic. You feel like a kid.

  2. Rooma Mehra:

    All great creativity is cathartic..hence original..

  3. Shannen Doherty:

    Putting it out there must be cathartic for her, it's her way of dealing with it, maybe that's her form of therapy.

  4. Maura Rose:

    Theater, overall, is a unique opportunity for those on the spectrum because it provides an escape, allows them to be in the moment. I think often times they can’t do that, it provides a shared [emotional] experience and it can be just incredibly cathartic for them.

  5. Celia Neustadt:

    I think that the trainings have been really cathartic for police officers to be able to talk about... how they want to be understood and better communicate with teenagers, the officers we're working with really want to fix this tension, just like the teenagers that we work with want to.

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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"cathartic." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 23 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/cathartic>.

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