Definition of cathartic in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈθɑːtɪk/


1Providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis: crying is a cathartic release
More example sentences
  • We were witnessing the cathartic expression of raw experience that could be the foundation of a profoundly moving work and perhaps one day it will.
  • Perhaps this is why the film is best seen in a crowded theatre, where the infectiousness of cathartic emotion can have full play.
  • Gullible by nature, they are easily swayed by catchy slogans and start seeking cathartic relief in communal frenzy.
purgative, purging, purifying, cleansing, cleaning, releasing, relieving, freeing, delivering, exorcising, ridding;
Psychoanalysis  abreactive
2 Medicine Purgative.
Example sentences
  • Participants 50 years and older with an indication for colonoscopy underwent cathartic preparation of the colon before CTC followed by regular colonoscopy.
  • The cathartic dose of sorbitol is 20 to 50 grams.
  • The third type of intervention is administration of cathartic agents to increase gastrointestinal motility and hasten the expulsion of the toxin.


A purgative drug.
Example sentences
  • Other laxatives and cathartics are available.
  • Mercury is used in the manufacture of skin medicine, dental amalgam, plastics, cathartics, paints, fungicides, cosmetics, and scientific instruments.
  • There is no evidence that cathartics reduce absorption or toxicity, however.



Example sentences
  • There are beautiful quiet passages (including a surprisingly restrained Jaco solo) and tracks that just build and build until they just explode cathartically.
  • I at least hope I have convinced you that my mom is a headcase and look forward to cathartically yet necessarily reviewing the insanity of my father next Saturday.
  • The secret to a successful relocation is knowing what to honestly expect so you can laugh cathartically when the inevitable bizarre scenarios emerge.


Early 17th century (in medical use): via late Latin from Greek kathartikos, from katharsis ‘cleansing’ (see catharsis).

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