catharsis SYLLABICATION: ca·thar·sis
NOUN: Inflected forms: pl. ca·thar·ses (-sz) 1.
Medicine Purgation, especially for the digestive
system. 2. A purifying or figurative cleansing
of the emotions, especially pity and fear,
described by Aristotle as an effect of tragic
drama on its audience. 3. A release of emotional
tension, as after an overwhelming experience,
that restores or refreshes the spirit. 4. Psychology
a. A technique used to relieve tension and
anxiety by bringing repressed feelings and fears
to consciousness. b. The therapeutic result
of this process; abreaction.
ETYMOLOGY: New Latin, from Greek katharsis, from
kathairein, to purge, from katharos, pure.