Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

laxative

[lak-suh-tiv]
See more synonyms for laxative on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a medicine or agent for relieving constipation.
Show More
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or constituting a laxative; purgative.
  2. Archaic.
    1. (of the bowels) subject to looseness.
    2. (of a disease) characterized by looseness of the bowels.
Show More

Origin of laxative

1350–1400; Middle English laxatif (< Middle French) < Medieval Latin laxātīvus loosening (see laxation, -ive)
Related formslax·a·tive·ly, adverblax·a·tive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

cathartic, purgative

Examples from the Web for laxative

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for laxative

laxative

noun
  1. an agent stimulating evacuation of faeces
Show More
adjective
  1. stimulating evacuation of faeces
Show More

Word Origin

C14 (originally: relaxing): from Medieval Latin laxātīvus, from Latin laxāre to loosen
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 laxative

adj.

late 14c., from Old French laxatif (13c.), from Medieval Latin laxativus "loosening," from Latin laxatus, past participle of laxare "loosen," from laxus "loose, lax" (see lax). The noun meaning "a laxative medicine" is from late 14c.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

laxative in Medicine

laxative

(lăksə-tĭv)
n.
  1. A food or drug that stimulates evacuation of the bowels.
Show More
adj.
  1. Stimulating evacuation of the bowels.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.