I. adjective Etymology: Middle English laxatif, from Medieval Latin laxativus, from Latin laxatus, past participle of laxare to loosen, from laxus Date: 14th century having a tendency to loosen or relax; specifically producing bowel movements and relieving constipation II. noun Date: 14th century a usually mild laxative drug

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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  • Laxative — Lax a*tive, a. [L. laxativus mitigating, assuaging: cf. F. laxatif. See {Lax}, a.] 1. Having a tendency to loosen or relax. Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. (Med.) Having the effect of loosening or opening the intestines, and relieving from… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • laxative — (adj.) late 14c., from O.Fr. laxatif (13c.), from M.L. laxativus loosening, from L. laxatus, pp. of laxare loosen, from laxus loose, lax (see LAX (Cf. lax)). The noun meaning a laxative medicine is from late 14c …   Etymology dictionary

  • laxative — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ tending to stimulate or facilitate evacuation of the bowels. ► NOUN ▪ a laxative drug or medicine. ORIGIN from Latin laxare loosen …   English terms dictionary

  • laxative — [lak′sə tiv] adj. [ME laxatif < OFr < ML laxativus < LL, mitigating < pp. of L laxare, to relax, slacken < laxus: see LAX] tending to make lax; specif., making the bowels loose and relieving constipation n. any laxative medicine;… …   English World dictionary

  • laxative — [n] aperient cathartic, purgative; concept 307 …   New thesaurus

  • Laxative — Laxatives (purgatives, aperients) are foods, compounds, or drugs taken to induce bowel movements or to loosen the stool, most often taken to treat constipation. Certain stimulant, lubricant, and saline laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for …   Wikipedia

  • laxative — n. 1) to take a laxative 2) to prescribe a laxative 3) an effective; mild; strong laxative * * * [ læksətɪv] mild strong laxative an effective to prescribe a laxative to prescribe a laxative to take a laxative …   Combinatory dictionary

  • laxative — [[t]læ̱ksətɪv[/t]] laxatives 1) N MASS A laxative is something you eat or drink that makes faeces come out of your body. Foods that ferment quickly in the stomach are excellent natural laxatives. 2) ADJ GRADED A laxative food or medicine makes… …   English dictionary

  • Laxative — Something that loosens the bowels. Used to combat constipation (and sometimes overused, producing diarrhea). The word “laxative” comes from the Latin “laxare” meaning “to open, widen, extend, release.” * * * 1. Mildly cathartic; having the action …   Medical dictionary

  • laxative — UK [ˈlæksətɪv] / US noun [countable] Word forms laxative : singular laxative plural laxatives a medicine, food, or drink that helps you to make solid waste leave your body when you use the toilet Derived word: laxative UK / US adjective …   English dictionary

  • laxative — laxatively, adv. laxativeness, n. /lak seuh tiv/, n. 1. a medicine or agent for relieving constipation. adj. 2. of, pertaining to, or constituting a laxative; purgative. 3. Archaic. a. (of the bowels) subject to looseness. b. (of a disease)… …   Universalium

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