Definition of carminative
: expelling gas from the stomach or intestines so as to relieve flatulence or abdominal pain or distension
Did You Know?
In times gone by, human personalities were believed to be controlled by four humors: blood, phlegm, choler (yellow bile), and melancholy (black vile). Though this belief was long ago discredited, its influence lingers on in the English language. When "carminative" came into use in the 15th-century medical field, carminative agents were thought to be effective because they influenced the humors. The word comes from Latin carrere, meaning "to card," referring to the act of cleansing or disentangling. This history reflects the theory that certain humors could be "combed out" like knots in wool.
Origin and Etymology of carminative
French carminatif, from Latin carminatus, past participle of carminare to card, from *carmin-, *carmen card, from carrere to card; akin to Lithuanian karšti to card
First Known Use: 15th century
Medical Definition of carminative
: a carminative agent
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up carminative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).