1 emotionally purging [syn: psychotherapeutic]
2 emotionally purging (of e.g. art) [syn: releasing]
3 strongly laxative [syn: evacuant, purgative] n : a purging medicine; stimulates evacuation of the bowels [syn: purgative, physic, aperient]
- Rhymes: -ɑː(r)tɪk
- A laxative
- For other uses, see catharsis (disambiguation)
This is in contrast to a laxative, which is a substance which eases defecation, usually by softening the stool. It is possible for a substance to be both a laxative and a cathartic. However, agents such as psyllium seed husks increase the bulk of the stool.
As an adjective, cathartic means psychotherapeutic or emotionally beneficial; viewing art or listening to music may be cathartic experiences.