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purgative

[pur-guh-tiv]
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adjective
  1. purging or cleansing, especially by causing evacuation of the bowels.
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noun
  1. a purgative medicine or agent; cathartic.
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Origin of purgative

1350–1400; < Late Latin pūrgātīvus (see purgation, -ive); replacing Middle English purgatyf < Middle French < Late Latin, as above
Related formspur·ga·tive·ly, adverbnon·pur·ga·tive, adjectivenon·pur·ga·tive·ly, adverbun·pur·ga·tive, adjectiveun·pur·ga·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for purgatives

Historical Examples

  • And it wanted only a dozen purgatives to cleanse it entirely.

    The Imaginary Invalid

    Molire

  • They are principally used in combination with purgatives, stomachics, and tonics.

  • In most cases of poisoning emetics and purgatives do the most good.

  • Purgatives should never be given when there is an irritable state of the bowels.

  • Of the former, the most important are Purgatives and Diaphoretics.

    The Action of Medicines in the System

    Frederick William Headland


British Dictionary definitions for purgatives

purgative

noun
  1. a drug or agent for purging the bowels
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adjective
  1. causing evacuation of the bowels; cathartic
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Derived Formspurgatively, adverb
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 purgatives

purgative

adj.

late 14c., from Old French purgatif (14c.) and directly from Late Latin purgativus, from purgat-, past participle stem of Latin purgare (see purge (v.)). The noun is attested from early 15c. (Old English medical texts have clænsungdrenc).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

purgatives in Medicine

purgative

(pûrgə-tĭv)
n.
  1. An agent used for purging the bowels.
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adj.
  1. Tending to cause evacuation of the bowels.
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Related formspurga•tive adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.