Word Origin See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com verb (used without object), def·e·cat·ed, def·e·cat·ing. to void excrement from the bowels through the anus; have a bowel movement. to become clear of dregs, impurities, etc. verb (used with object), def·e·cat·ed, def·e·cat·ing. to clear of dregs, impurities, etc.; purify; refine. Origin of defecate 1565–75;
(past participle of
to cleanse, refine), equivalent to
dregs, sediment) +
-ātus -ate 1 Related forms def·e·ca·tion, noun
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for defecate (intr) to discharge waste from the body through the anus (tr) to clarify or remove impurities from (a solution, esp of sugar) Derived Forms defecation or defaecation, noun defecator or defaecator, noun Word Origin
C16: from Latin
dēfaecāre to cleanse from dregs, from de- + faex sediment, dregs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for defecate v.
1570s, "to purify," from Latin
defaecatus, past participle of defaecare "cleanse from dregs, purify," from the phrase de faece "from dregs" (plural faeces; see feces). Excretory sense first recorded 1830 ( defecation), American English, from French. Related: Defecated; defecating.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
defecate (dĕf ′ĭ-kāt′) To void feces from the bowels. Related forms def′e•ca ′tion n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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