Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
Word of the Day : March 16, 2013

carminative

play
adjective kahr-MIN-uh-tive

Definition

: expelling gas from the stomach or intestines so as to relieve flatulence or abdominal pain or distension

Examples

Fennel is a carminative herb that helps alleviate gas after a spicy meal.

"Cumin seeds contain numerous phyto-chemicals that are known to have antioxidant, carminative and anti-flatulent properties, and are also an excellent source of dietary fibre." - From an article in Facts For You, May 5, 2012



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.

Test Your Memory

What word begins with "i" and completes this sentence from a former Word of the Day piece: "The journalist eventually apologized for her __________ rant against the governor"? The answer is ...


Podcast


More Words of the Day