• synonyms


See more synonyms for catarrh on Thesaurus.com
  1. Pathology. inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the respiratory tract, accompanied by excessive secretions.
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Origin of catarrh

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin catarrhus < Greek katárrous literally, down-flowing, equivalent to katarr(eîn) to flow down (kata- cata- + rheîn to flow) + -ous, variant of -eos (theme vowel + adj. suffix)
Related formsca·tarrh·al, ca·tarrh·ous, adjectiveca·tarrh·al·ly, adverbnon·ca·tar·rhal, adjectivepost·ca·tarrh·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for catarrh

Historical Examples

  • One said to the other "By the way how is that Catarrh of yours?"

    Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56: No. 3, January 19, 1884.


  • Consumption, pneumonia, catarrh, deafness are some of their names.

    Girls and Women

    Harriet E. Paine (AKA E. Chester}

  • The causes of catarrh are many: the most common cause is a cold.


    William J. Robinson

  • The catarrh has left, while his stomach is simply doing nobly.

  • Never was a catarrh so sudden, so universal, or so ill-timed.

British Dictionary definitions for catarrh


  1. inflammation of a mucous membrane with increased production of mucus, esp affecting the nose and throat in the common cold
  2. the mucus so formed
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Derived Formscatarrhal or catarrhous, adjective

Word Origin

C16: via French from Late Latin catarrhus, from Greek katarrous, from katarrhein to flow down, from kata- down + rhein to flow
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 catarrh


late 14c., from Medieval Latin catarrus, from Late Latin catarrhus, from Greek katarrhous "a catarrh, a head cold," literally "a flowing down," earlier kata rrhoos, ultimately from kata- "down" (see cata-) + rhein "to flow" (see rheum). Related: Catarrhalcatarrhous.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

catarrh in Medicine


  1. Inflammation of mucous membranes, especially of the nose and throat.
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Related formsca•tarrhal adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.