follow Dictionary.com

Word of the Day
Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Definitions for cataract

  1. A great fall of water over a precipice; a large waterfall.
  2. A downpour; a flood.
  3. A clouding or opacity of the lens or capsule of the eye, which obstructs the passage of light.

Learn something
new every day


GET OUR


Thank youfor signing up
Get the Word of the Day Email
Citations for cataract
Niagara is no virgin. Today, its cataract can be stopped with the pull of a lever, and less than half its natural flow pours over the precipice. Thurston Clarke, New York Times
Bartram was an ace self-dramatizer and avid explorer of nature, whose journals are full of blood and thunder and such dramatic observations of animals as this one of the American crocodile: "His enormous body swells. His plaited tail brandished high, floats upon the lake. The waters like a cataract descend from his opening jaws. Clouds of smoke issue from his dilated nostrils." Diane Ackerman, New York Times
Origin of cataract
1350-1400
Cataract is from Latin cataracta, "a waterfall, a portcullis," from Greek kataraktes, katarrhaktes, from katarassein, "to dash down," from kata-, "down" + arassein, "to strike, dash."
Get our
Word of the Day
Email
Thanks for signing up!