- (intransitive) To excrete feces from one's bowels.
- (now rare) To purify, to clean of dregs etc.
- 1744, Robert Boyle; Thomas Birch, Thomas Birch, editor, The Works of the Honourable Robert Boyle: In Five Volumes : to which is Prefixed, the Life of the Author, volume 1, compilation of Certain phyſiological eſsays and other tracts written at diſtant times, and on ſeveral occaſions by the honourable Robert Boyle ; wherein ſome of the tracts are enlarged by experiments and the work is increaſed by the addition of a diſcourse about the abſolute reſt in bodies. by Robert Boyle, part VI: Certain Physiological Essays, and other tracts written at diſtant Times, eſsay 7: The Hiſtory of Fluidity and Firmneſs, the ſecond part: of Firmneſs, page 265:
- […] I ſhall add, that proſecuting a hint a happened to meet with in the diſcourſe of a wandering chymiſt, I practiſed a way ſo to defecate the dark and muddy oil of amber drawn per ſe, that a pretty porportion of it would come over ſo tranſparent and finely coloured, that the experiment did not a little pleaſe thoſe I ſhewed it to.
- 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, page 224:
- Some are of opinion that such fat, standing waters make the best beer, and that seething doth defecate it […].
- (now rare, transitive) To purge; to pass (something) as excrement.
- (excrete feces): See Thesaurus:defecate
- (obsolete) Freed from pollutants, dregs, lees, etc.; refined; purified.
- Till the soul be defecate from the dregs of sense.