from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Medicine Purgation, especially for the digestive system.
- n. A purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, especially pity and fear, described by Aristotle as an effect of tragic drama on its audience.
- n. A release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit.
- n. Psychology A technique used to relieve tension and anxiety by bringing repressed feelings and fears to consciousness.
- n. Psychology The therapeutic result of this process; abreaction.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A release of emotional tension after an overwhelming vicarious experience, resulting in the purging or purification of the emotions, as through watching a dramatic production (especially a tragedy). Coined in this sense by Aristotle.
- n. Any release of emotional tension to the same effect, more widely.
- n. A purification or cleansing, especially emotional.
- n. A therapeutic technique to relieve tension.
- n. Purging of the digestive system.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A natural or artificial purgation of any passage, as of the mouth, bowels, etc.
- n. The process of relieving an abnormal excitement by reëstablishing the association of the emotion with the memory or idea of the event that first caused it, and of eliminating it by complete expression (called the abreaction).
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In medicine, a natural or artificial purgation of any passage, especially the bowels. Also called apocatharsis.
- n. Used in English to express whatever Aristotle is supposed to have meant by the same word.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. purging the body by the use of a cathartic to stimulate evacuation of the bowels
- n. (psychoanalysis) purging of emotional tensions
You saw them disagreeing even on whether we can use the -- the term catharsis here.
The ancient Greeks used the term catharsis for the cleansing of both the body by medicine and the soul by art.
The term catharsis has been used for centuries as a medical term meaning a
The term catharsis has also been adopted by modern psychotherapy, particularly Freudian psychoanalysis, to describe the act of expressing deep emotions often associated with events in the individual's past which have never before been adequately expressed.
I think he's got a little time to do this, what we call the catharsis interview.
And the kind of place you want to go is our own Larry King or Oprah Winfrey, some place where you have time to tell your story, somebody who is going to be very sympathetic and you do that interview which we call a catharsis interview.
HOWARD BRAGMAN, FIFTEENMINUTES. COM: It's what we call catharsis in our business.
And for you literalists, the doctors define the term catharsis thusly (
However, this is an exercise in catharsis instead of anything serious.
So many times art has been called a catharsis for those who create it.