English Dictionary

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English Dictionary

catharsis  (kəˈθɑːsɪs



(plural) -ses
  1. (in Aristotelian literary criticism) the purging or purification of the emotions through the evocation of pity and fear, as in tragedy
  2. (psychoanalysis) the bringing of repressed ideas or experiences into consciousness, thus relieving tensions See also abreaction
  3. purgation, esp of the bowels

Word Origin

C19: New Latin, from Greek katharsis, from kathairein to purge, purify


View thesaurus entry
= release, cleansing, purging, purification, purgation, abreaction

Example Sentences Including 'catharsis'

Busybody that I am, I thought it might prove a form of catharsis , get some of the anger out of his system.
MacLeod, Charlotte Something in the Water
His eyes burned with the kind of fire only catharsis can bank.
Delman, David Death of a Nymph
Walsh was still unsure how genuine the catharsis of guilt really was.
Parkes, Roger Riot


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