- a descent of water over a steep surface; a waterfall, especially one of considerable size.
- any furious rush or downpour of water; deluge.
- an abnormality of the eye, characterized by opacity of the lens.
- the opaque area.
Origin of cataract
Examples from the Web for cataract
Historical Examples of cataract
That river has a cataract or fall, at about an hundred and fifty leagues from its confluence.The History of Louisiana
Le Page Du Pratz
A lake had burst on its summit, and the cataract became a falling Ocean.Vivian Grey
Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
You must be in a hurry to do it, too, coming downstairs like a cataract.The Christian
Lady O'Moy was in an emotional maelstrom that swept her towards a cataract.The Snare
I crossed it dry-shod at day-break, and now, it is a cataract.The O'Donoghue
Charles James Lever
- a large waterfall or rapids
- a deluge; downpour
- partial or total opacity of the crystalline lens of the eye
- the opaque area
Word Origin for cataract
Word Origin and History for cataract
early 15c., "a waterfall, floodgate," from Latin cataracta "waterfall," from Greek katarhaktes "waterfall, broken water; a kind of portcullis," noun use of an adjective compound meaning "swooping, down-rushing," from kata "down" (see cata-). The second element is traced either to arhattein "to strike hard" (in which case the compound is kat-arrhattein), or to rhattein "to dash, break."
Its alternative sense in Latin of "portcullis" probably was passed through French to form the English meaning "eye disease" (early 15c.), on the notion of "obstruction" (to eyesight).
- Opacity of the lens or capsule of the eye, causing impairment of vision or blindness.
- An opacity of the lens of the eye or the membrane that covers it, causing impairment of vision or blindness.
- A waterfall in which a large volume of water flows over a steep precipice.