Cathartic Ca*thar"tic, n. [Gr. ?.] (Med.) A medicine that promotes alvine discharges; a purge; a purgative of moderate activity. [1913 Webster]

Note: The cathartics are more energetic and certain in action that the laxatives, which simply increase the tendency to alvine evacuation; and less powerful and irritaint that the drastic purges, which cause profuse, repeated, and watery evacuations. -- {Ca*thar"tic*al*ly}, adv. -- {Ca*thar"tic*al*ness}, n. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cathartic — cathartically, adv. catharticalness, n. /keuh thahr tik/, adj. 1. of or pertaining to catharsis. 2. Also, cathartical. evacuating the bowels; purgative. n. 3. a purgative. [1605 15; < LL catharticus < Gk kathartikós fit for cleansing. See… …   Universalium

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