- an abnormality of the eye, characterized by opacity of the lens.
- the opaque area.
Origin of cataract
Examples from the Web for cataract
The fireman was already on the tender, ready to slew over the pipe that would bring a cataract of water down into the reservoir.Bert Wilson's Twin Cylinder Racer|J. W. Duffield
The castle of Lauffen hangs over the river, and appears to tremble from the force of the Cataract.A tour through some parts of France, Switzerland, Savoy, Germany and Belgium|Richard Boyle Bernard
The poor beast, grown grey with age and having a cataract in its right eye, waved its short tail convulsively.The Duel|A. I. Kuprin
The cataract roared with a seven-fold tumult in her ears, and danced before her eyes.A Chance Acquaintance|W. D. Howells
The site of the cataract retreats upstream and the gorge is lengthened at a rate of about five ft. a year.The Greatest Highway in the World|Anonymous
British Dictionary definitions for cataract
- 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).
Medicine definitions for cataract
Science definitions for cataract
Culture definitions for cataract
A loss in the transparency of the lens of the eye, which reduces a person's ability to see. The condition can be treated by surgically removing the lens and replacing it with an artificial one, or with corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses.