Definition of catharsis

  1. catharsis Noun A release of emotional tension after an overwhelming vicarious experience, resulting in the purging or purification of the emotions, as through watching a dramatic production (especially a tragedy). Coined in this sense by Aristotle.
  2. catharsis Noun Any release of emotional tension to the same effect, more widely.
  3. catharsis Noun A purification or cleansing, especially emotional.
  4. catharsis Noun A therapeutic technique to relieve tension.
  5. catharsis Noun Purging of the digestive system.
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