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

Related Words for defecation

excrement, excretion, expurgation

Examples from the Web for defecation

Historical Examples of defecation

British Dictionary definitions for defecation




(intr) to discharge waste from the body through the anus
(tr) to clarify or remove impurities from (a solution, esp of sugar)
Derived Formsdefecation 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

Word Origin and History for defecation

1620s, from Late Latin defecationem (nominative deficatio), from defecat-, past participle stem of Latin defecare (see defecate). An Old English word for "bowel movement" was arse-gang literally "arse-going."



1570s, "to purify," from Latin defaecatus, past participle of defaecare "cleanse from dregs, purify," from the phrase de faece "from dregs" (plural faeces; see feces). Excretory sense first recorded 1830 (defecation), American English, from French. Related: Defecated; defecating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

defecation in Medicine




To void feces from the bowels.
Related formsdef′e•cation n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.