Meaning of catharsis

ca•thar•sis

Pronunciation: (ku-thär'sis), [key]
— pl. -ses
  1. the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, esp. through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.
  2. purgation.
    1. psychotherapy that encourages or permits the discharge of pent-up, socially unacceptable affects.
    2. discharge of pent-up emotions so as to result in the alleviation of symptoms or the permanent relief of the condition.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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