Definition of cathartic in English:

cathartic

adjective

  • 1Providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis.

    ‘crying is a cathartic release’
    • ‘The play is supposed to build to a final cathartic spilling of secrets and emotions.’
    • ‘Would we then defer to his expressed wishes and enact a scene of cathartic cruelty?’
    • ‘It was a great, great, great show, a very cathartic release.’
    • ‘Forgiveness is cathartic and releases tension, revenge perpetuates and increases tension.’
    • ‘As an expression of community solidarity, and as a cathartic public moment of defiance in the face of the threat of personal loss, it is a powerful symbol.’
    • ‘But beyond the monetary considerations, her renaming ordeal has also proved emotionally cathartic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Gullible by nature, they are easily swayed by catchy slogans and start seeking cathartic relief in communal frenzy.’
    • ‘I also think there is real value, cathartic release, in applying to humour to the situation and being able to openly laugh at what we once feared’
    • ‘All people, including Chinese people, crave the cathartic release that laughter provides.’
    • ‘However, don't expect a cathartic payoff, because there is little emotional messiness in this largely intellectual exercise.’
    • ‘This would have a cathartic effect; it would release us from the torments of hypocrisy, from the discomforts of a lie.’
    • ‘It's a defiantly anti-commercial album; one built more for cathartic expression than fretting over the amount of units sold.’
    • ‘As with Greek drama, it may be emotionally cathartic but it is never soothing.’
    • ‘Today, audiences prefer big statements, cathartic effects and emotional exhibitionism.’
    • ‘Sometimes it's cathartic to open up about the sad stuff.’
    • ‘Perhaps this is why the film is best seen in a crowded theatre, where the infectiousness of cathartic emotion can have full play.’
    • ‘For many, the experience is clearly cathartic and helps release pent-up emotions.’
    • ‘It's been a cathartic experience for all of us.’
    • ‘Furthermore, a substantial body of social research reports that engaging in cathartic expressions of anger does not eradicate aggressive urges but rather escalates them.’
    purgative, purging, purifying, cleansing, cleaning, releasing, relieving, freeing, delivering, exorcising, ridding
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  • 2Medicine
    Purgative.

    • ‘Since sodium phosphate is an osmotic cathartic agent, there is the risk of intravascular volume reduction due to the production of a large effluent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This fungus is supposedly edible but faded forms can be confused with R. formosa, which has a strong cathartic effect when eaten.’
    • ‘Participants 50 years and older with an indication for colonoscopy underwent cathartic preparation of the colon before CTC followed by regular colonoscopy.’

noun

Medicine
  • A purgative drug.

    • ‘Other laxatives and cathartics are available.’
    • ‘Gastric lavage, emetics, activated charcoal, cathartics, etc., should be used when indicated.’
    • ‘There is no evidence that cathartics reduce absorption or toxicity, however.’
    • ‘Gastrointestinal decontamination with activated charcoal and a cathartic may be useful in acute exposures if the drug was taken orally within the previous 60 minutes.’
    • ‘Mercury is used in the manufacture of skin medicine, dental amalgam, plastics, cathartics, paints, fungicides, cosmetics, and scientific instruments.’
    laxative, enema, aperient, lenitive, cathartic, evacuant
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Origin

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

Pronunciation

cathartic

/kəˈθɑːtɪk/