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



BrE BrE//ˈθɑːsɪs//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈθɑːrsɪs//
[uncountable, countable] (pl. catharses
BrE BrE//kəˈθɑːsiːz//
; NAmE NAmE//kəˈθɑːrsiːz//
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the process of releasing strong feelings, for example through plays or other artistic activities, as a way of providing relief from anger, suffering, etc. Word Originearly 19th cent. in the sense purification: from Greek katharsis, from kathairein ‘cleanse’, from katharos ‘pure’. The notion of “release” through drama derives from Aristotle's Poetics.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: catharsis