Definition of aperient in US English:



  • (chiefly of a drug) used to relieve constipation.

    • ‘All parts of the plant, but especially the root, are slightly aperient.’
    • ‘The routine use of Triphala each morning is thought to detoxify the body and restore the integrity of the entire digestive tract, with a perfect balance between its astringent, demulcent, digestive, and aperient properties.’
    • ‘Medicines and herbs that are diuretic, warming diaphoretic, warming stimulant, expectorant, carminative and aperient (mildly laxative) are appropriate for treating Water imbalances…’
    • ‘In the spring time of the year, the judicious use of aperient medicines is much to be commended.’
    laxative, aperient, lenitive, cathartic, evacuant, purging
    View synonyms


  • An aperient drug.

    • ‘Aperients should not be given if any doubt about cause of constipation exists.’
    • ‘The aperient to which the author appears to give the preference over all others is senna.’
    • ‘Besides alcohol and ether, the patient took vast quantities of aperients, thyroid preparations and various salts, as well as homoeopathic preparations.’
    laxative, enema, aperient, lenitive, cathartic, evacuant
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: from Latin aperient- ‘opening’, from aperire.