Definition of cataract noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈkætərækt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkætərækt//
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  1. 1 a medical condition that affects the lens of the eye and causes a gradual loss of sight A cataract can be removed under local anaesthetic.
  2. 2(literary) a large steep waterfall
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from Latin cataracta ‘waterfall, floodgate’, also ‘portcullis’ (medical sense (1) probably being a figurative use of this), from Greek kataraktēs ‘down-rushing’, from katarassein, from kata- ‘down’ + arassein ‘strike, smash’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cataract