s) KEY NOUN: pl. ca·thar·ses
- Medicine Purgation, especially for the digestive system.
- A purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, especially pity and fear, described by Aristotle as an effect of tragic drama on its audience.
- A release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit.
- A technique used to relieve tension and anxiety by bringing repressed feelings and fears to consciousness.
- The therapeutic result of this process; abreaction.
New Latin, from Greek katharsis
, from kathairein
, to purge
, from katharos