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Word of the Day
Friday, March 28, 2014

Definitions for catharsis

  1. the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.
  2. Medicine/Medical. purgation.
  3. Psychiatry. a. psychotherapy that encourages or permits the discharge of pent-up, socially unacceptable affects. b. discharge of pent-up emotions so as to result in the alleviation of symptoms or the permanent relief of the condition.

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Citations for catharsis
Then they argued about whether the sensation of catharsis in the writer himself could be a test of the work. Walter Van Tilburg Clark, The City of Trembling Leaves, 1945
It was such a catharsis, such a coming to terms, such a reward. It was proof that I was right… George Carlin, Last Words, 2009
Origin of catharsis
Catharsis came to English in the late 1700s from the Greek kátharsis meaning "a cleansing."