car·​mi·​na·​tive | \ kär-ˈmi-nə-tiv How to pronounce carminative (audio) , ˈkär-mə-ˌnā- How to pronounce carminative (audio) \

Definition of carminative

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

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Other Words from carminative

carminative noun

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.

First Known Use of carminative

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

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The first known use of carminative was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Carminative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for carminative


car·​mi·​na·​tive | \ kär-ˈmin-ət-iv How to pronounce carminative (audio) , ˈkär-mə-ˌnāt- How to pronounce carminative (audio) \

Medical Definition of carminative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Medical Definition of carminative (Entry 2 of 2)

: a carminative agent

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