Word of the Day

Friday, March 28, 2014

catharsis

\kuh-THAHR-seez\ , noun;
1.
the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.
2.
Medicine/Medical. purgation.
3.
Psychiatry. a. psychotherapy that encourages or permits the discharge of pent-up, socially unacceptable affects. b. discharge of pent-up emotions so as to result in the alleviation of symptoms or the permanent relief of the condition.
Quotes:
Then they argued about whether the sensation of catharsis in the writer himself could be a test of the work.
-- Walter Van Tilburg Clark, The City of Trembling Leaves, 1945
It was such a catharsis, such a coming to terms, such a reward. It was proof that I was right…
-- George Carlin, Last Words, 2009
Origin:
Catharsis came to English in the late 1700s from the Greek kátharsis meaning "a cleansing."
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