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cataract

[kat-uh-rakt]
noun
  1. a descent of water over a steep surface; a waterfall, especially one of considerable size.
  2. any furious rush or downpour of water; deluge.
  3. Ophthalmology.
    1. an abnormality of the eye, characterized by opacity of the lens.
    2. the opaque area.
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Origin of cataract

1350–1400; Middle English cataracte < Latin catar(r)acta < Greek katarráktēs waterfall, floodgate, portcullis (noun), downrushing (adj.), akin to katarássein to dash down, equivalent to kat- cata- + arássein to smite
Related formscat·a·rac·tal, cat·a·rac·tous, adjectivecat·a·ract·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cataractous

Historical Examples of cataractous

  • No other eye disease and no prevalent constitutional diseases or degeneracies in the cataractous stock.

    Abstracts of Papers Read at the First International Eugenics Congress

    Various


British Dictionary definitions for cataractous

cataract

noun
  1. a large waterfall or rapids
  2. a deluge; downpour
  3. pathol
    1. partial or total opacity of the crystalline lens of the eye
    2. the opaque area
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Word Origin for cataract

C15: from Latin catarracta, from Greek katarrhaktēs, from katarassein to dash down, from arassein to strike
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cataractous

cataract

n.

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cataractous in Medicine

cataract

(kătə-răkt′)
n.
  1. Opacity of the lens or capsule of the eye, causing impairment of vision or blindness.
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Related formscat′a•ractous (-răktəs) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

cataractous in Science

cataract

[kătə-răkt′]
  1. An opacity of the lens of the eye or the membrane that covers it, causing impairment of vision or blindness.
  2. A waterfall in which a large volume of water flows over a steep precipice.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cataractous in Culture

cataract

[(kat-uh-rakt)]

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.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.