- (drama) 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).
- 2019 April 14, Alex McLevy, “Winter is here on Game Of Thrones' final season premiere (newbies)”, in The A.V. Club:
- True, as the show has entered its later years, there have been more inspired moments of catharsis, but fewer unpredictable arcs and story beats, as a narrative nearing its conclusion is no longer attempting to shock.
- Any release of emotional tension to the same effect, more widely.
- A purification or cleansing, especially emotional.
- (psychology) A therapeutic technique to relieve tension by re-establishing the association of an emotion with the memory or idea of the event that first caused it, and then eliminating it by complete expression (called the abreaction).
- (medicine) Purging of the digestive system.
in drama, a release of emotional tension
any release of emotional tension
a therapeutic technique to relieve tension