from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See menses.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The female period, menstrual discharge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The monthly courses of women; menstrual discharges; menses.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • The monthly flowings of women; the menses.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the monthly discharge of blood from the uterus of nonpregnant women from puberty to menopause


Greek katamēnia, from neuter pl. of katamēnios, monthly : kata-, according to, per; see cata- + mēn, month; see mē-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek καταμήνια, the neuter plural of καταμήνιος ("monthly"), from κατά + μήν ("month"). (Wiktionary)


  • At the same age in the female, the breasts swell and the so-called catamenia commence to flow; and this fluid resembles fresh blood.

    The History of Animals

  • It is plain, then, that the catamenia are a secretion, and that they are analogous in females to the semen in males.

    On the Generation of Animals

  • We must also inquire what those animals which emit semen contribute by means of it to generation, and generally what is the nature of semen, and of the so-called catamenia in all animals which discharge this liquid.

    On the Generation of Animals

  • It has been stated then that the catamenia are a secretion as the semen is, and confirmation of this view may be drawn from some of the phenomena of animals.

    On the Generation of Animals

  • This is because the nature of the milk and of the catamenia is the same, and Nature cannot be so productive as to supply both at once; if the secretion is diverted in the one direction it must needs cease in the other, unless some violence is done contrary to the general rule.

    On the Generation of Animals

  • It is also called the catamenia or catamenia-flow (Greek, kata -- by, men -- a month).

    Woman Her Sex and Love Life

  • And a proof that the female does not emit similar semen to the male, and that the offspring is not formed by a mixture of both, as some say, is that often the female conceives without the sensation of pleasure in intercourse, and if again the pleasure is experience by her no less than by the male and the two sexes reach their goal together, yet often no conception takes place unless the liquid of the so-called catamenia is present in a right proportion.

    On the Generation of Animals

  • So it should be a quiet day, which is good because I got a lousy night's sleep what with the catamenia my new favorite word.

    Pen-Elayne on the Web

  • I am assured by some persons of credit, that if they are touched, or even approached, by a woman in her catamenia, they infallibly expire.

    Travels through France and Italy

  • Has not your lady, may I ask, heretofore at the period of the catamenia, suffered, if indeed not from anaemia, then necessarily from plethora?

    Hung Lou Meng


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