Definition of laxative in English:



  • (chiefly of a drug or medicine) tending to stimulate or facilitate evacuation of the bowels.

    ‘laxative drugs’
    ‘the laxative properties of sodium sulphate’
    • ‘It also has expectorant and mild laxative properties.’
    • ‘When I say hot chocolate, I mean used coffee grounds laced with crushed chocolate laxative tablets and cocoa powder.’
    • ‘Western herbology recognizes Rhubarb's astringent laxative properties, making it useful for both constipation and diarrhea.’
    • ‘If your baby is bottlefed and constipated, your doctor may suggest mixing a small amount of laxative medicine into the formula.’
    • ‘Traditional herbalists valued coriander, especially to counteract the stomach-upsetting properties of laxative herbs such as buckthorn, cascara, rhubarb and senna.’
    • ‘There is strong evidence that psyllium has laxative properties and promotes colonic function.’
    • ‘There are elaborate pitches for laxative capsules, a purple pill for heartburn, over-the-counter sinus medication, and prescription drugs for allergies and Alzheimer's.’
    • ‘Thinking it was merely constipation, he tried laxative product after laxative product, but nothing seemed to help.’
    • ‘Not only does she use an enema a couple of times a week, but she also drinks laxative tea containing senna all the time.’
    • ‘By stimulating both kidneys and bowels, burdock has diuretic and laxative actions, and hastens the elimination of toxins from the body.’
    • ‘The larger dose is more laxative while the smaller dose tends to be more gradually blood purifying.’
    • ‘That resulted in two stomach pumpings in the same week, and a more unfortunate and embarrassing incident of severe diarrhoea after swallowing 16 laxative pills.’
    • ‘It is used as a laboratory reagent and acid-base indicator and has been used in over-the-counter laxative preparations.’
    • ‘Practitioners of Ayurveda, India's holistic medical system, say the supplement has laxative properties and that it can strengthen the digestive system.’
    • ‘You'll find laxative teas at a natural food store.’
    • ‘It is an important demulcent laxative, especially when combined with other laxative herbs.’
    • ‘Anyway, my first visit to this new GP was terminated with a bottle of laxative syrup, presumably to clear whatever blockage was causing my symptoms.’
    • ‘The rectum and colon should be emptied, usually with the use of a suppository or enema, then appropriate laxative therapy should follow to prevent recurrence.’
    • ‘Our research goal is to determine if developed beverages fortified with inulin will result in improved bowel function, decreased laxative use and improved bone health.’
    laxative, aperient, lenitive, cathartic, evacuant, purging
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  • A medicine which has a laxative effect.

    ‘he may prescribe a laxative to ease the congestion’
    • ‘Make sure the patient receives adequate fiber in their diet, but avoid laxatives and enemas.’
    • ‘Her doctor has told her that strong laxatives are dangerous.’
    • ‘Does she take laxatives or diuretics to lose weight?’
    • ‘In fact, using laxatives unnecessarily can actually cause constipation.’
    • ‘If the diverticulitis is not severe, treatment will be with painkillers, antibiotics, laxatives and dietary advice.’
    • ‘Functional fibre is found in bulk laxatives, fortified foods, beverages, and dietary supplements.’
    • ‘In the United States, more than $800 million is spent on laxatives each year.’
    • ‘You must take bulk-forming laxatives daily for the best effect.’
    • ‘Herbal laxatives and diuretics may result in temporary weight loss.’
    • ‘People who rely on harsh laxatives may find that they too get caught up in a vicious cycle.’
    • ‘Osmotic laxatives such as lactulose are effective alternatives to soften hard stools.’
    • ‘However, bulimics then ‘purge’ the food they have eaten through self-induced vomiting or by taking laxatives.’
    • ‘When taking a medical history, it is also important to take a dietary history to ask about the use of laxatives or diuretics.’
    • ‘Haemorrhoids should be managed conservatively, using laxatives and dietary fibre.’
    • ‘Your doctor may also ask you if you take any medicines such as birth control pills, laxatives or diet pills.’
    • ‘Ask your doctor or nurse about the use of stool softeners or laxatives.’
    • ‘Giving hospital patients laxatives and sedatives cries out for scientific scrutiny, to prove that their routine use is not harmful.’
    • ‘If you're pregnant, seek your doctor's advice before using laxatives.’
    • ‘For constipation, an osmotic laxative is preferred over stimulant laxatives.’
    • ‘If the diet cannot be modified in this way, adding bulk laxatives may be necessary; they can prevent worsening of the condition.’
    purgative, lenitive, aperient, cathartic, evacuant
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Late Middle English: via Old French laxatif, -ive or late Latin laxativus, from Latin laxare ‘loosen’ (from laxus ‘loose’).