[ def-i-keyt ]
/ ˈdɛf ɪˌkeɪt /

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; < Latin dēfaecātus (past participle of dēfaecāre to cleanse, refine), equivalent to dē- de- + faec- (stem of faex dregs, sediment) + -ātus -ate1

Related forms

def·e·ca·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defecation

British Dictionary definitions for defecation



/ (ˈdɛfɪˌkeɪt) /


(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, noundefecator or defaecator, noun

Word Origin for defecate

C16: from Latin dēfaecāre to cleanse from dregs, from de- + faex sediment, dregs
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

Medicine definitions for defecation


[ dĕfĭ-kāt′ ]


To void feces from the bowels.

Related forms

def′e•cation n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.