noun Ca·thar·tes \-t(ˌ)ēz\

Definition of Cathartes

  1. :  the type genus of Cathartidae comprising the New World turkey vultures and related extinct birds

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of cathartes

New Latin, from Greek kathartēs cleanser, from kathairein to clean

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Cathartes? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


capable of being understood in two ways

Get Word of the Day daily email!