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[kuh-tahr] /kəˈtɑr/
Pathology. inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the respiratory tract, accompanied by excessive secretions.
Origin of catarrh
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin catarrhus < Greek katárrous literally, down-flowing, equivalent to katarr(eîn) to flow down (kata- cata- + rheîn to flow) + -ous, variant of -eos (theme vowel + adj. suffix)
Related forms
catarrhal, catarrhous, adjective
catarrhally, adverb
noncatarrhal, adjective
postcatarrhal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for catarrh
  • Others think the disease is a form of gastrointestinal catarrh.
  • catarrh cannot be except by making the entire mucous membrane healthy more people than all other diseases and accidents combined.
British Dictionary definitions for catarrh


inflammation of a mucous membrane with increased production of mucus, esp affecting the nose and throat in the common cold
the mucus so formed
Derived Forms
catarrhal, catarrhous, adjective
Word Origin
C16: via French from Late Latin catarrhus, from Greek katarrous, from katarrhein to flow down, from kata- down + rhein to flow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for catarrh

late 14c., from Medieval Latin catarrus, from Late Latin catarrhus, from Greek katarrhous "a catarrh, a head cold," literally "a flowing down," earlier kata rrhoos, ultimately from kata- "down" (see cata-) + rhein "to flow" (see rheum). Related: Catarrhalcatarrhous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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catarrh in Medicine

catarrh ca·tarrh (kə-tär')
Inflammation of mucous membranes, especially of the nose and throat.

ca·tarrh'al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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