1

purgative

play
adjective pur·ga·tive \ ˈpər-gə-tiv \

Definition of purgative

:purging or tending to purge

Did You Know?

Purgative can be used as a noun as well as an adjective. For centuries, doctors prescribed purgatives—that is, laxatives—for all kinds of ailments, not knowing anything better to do. Physical cleansing has always reminded people of emotional and spiritual cleansing, as expressed in the saying "Cleanliness is next to godliness". So we may say, for example, that confession has a purgative effect on the soul. Some psychologists used to claim that expressing your anger is purgative; but in fact it may generally be no better for your emotional life than taking a laxative, and can sometimes really foul things up.

Origin and Etymology of purgative

Middle English purgatif, from Late Latin purgativus, from Latin purgatus, past participle


2

purgative

noun

Definition of purgative

:a purging medicine :cathartic

Recent Examples of purgative from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'purgative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of purgative

15th century


PURGATIVE Defined for English Language Learners

purgative

noun

Definition of purgative for English Language Learners

  • medical : a medicine or food that causes the bowels to empty


Medical Dictionary

1

purgative

play
adjective pur·ga·tive \ ˈpər-gət-iv \

medical Definition of purgative

:purging or tending to purge :cathartic

purgatively

adverb

2

purgative

noun

medical Definition of purgative

:a purging medicine :cathartic


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a strongly worded attack

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