• WordNet 3.6
    • adj purgative strongly laxative
    • n purgative a purging medicine; stimulates evacuation of the bowels
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Purgative Having the power or quality of purging; cathartic.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • purgative Having the power of cleansing; usually, having the power of evacuating the intestines; cathartic.
    • purgative Having the property, as judicial torture in some cases, of invalidating the evidence against an accused person, when he, under torture, satisfactorily answered the questions of the judges.
    • n purgative A medicine that evacuates the intestines, producing more or less abundant and watery stools.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Purgative cleansing: having the power of evacuating the intestines
    • ***


  • Michelangelo
    “Beauty is the purgation of superfluities.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. purgativus,: cf. F. purgatif,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. purger—L. purgāre, -ātumpurus, pure, agĕre, to do.


In literature:

Robespierre's general design in short was to effect a further purgation of the Convention.
"Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 1 of 3)" by John Morley
Cathartics and purgatives are not to be given; in due time the object will appear in the stool.
"The Mother and Her Child" by William S. Sadler
The dose as a purgative is from one half to one ounce.
"Human Foods and Their Nutritive Value" by Harry Snyder
Fra Battista was to stand on the rood-step to make his purgation.
"Little Novels of Italy" by Maurice Henry Hewlett
Purgatives are of no use, and usually make matters worse.
"Papers on Health" by John Kirk
In the year 1599, the Hall of the Stationers underwent as great a purgation as was carried on in Don Quixote's library.
"Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3)" by Isaac D'Israeli
"Philosophy of Osteopathy" by Andrew T. Still
There are many indications that this purgative function of literature is the main thing it is for in our present modern life.
"The Lost Art of Reading" by Gerald Stanley Lee
An isolated lump may even persist after free purgation.
"Intestinal Ills" by Alcinous Burton Jamison
Take a purgative, which will usually expel the offending cause, generally too much undigested food.
"Manual of Military Training" by James A. Moss

In poetry:

("If you would learn the woes that vex
Poor TANTALUS, down there,
Pray borrow of Papa an ex-
Purgated LEMPRIERE.)
"The Two Ogres" by William Schwenck Gilbert
"We have passed through our purgation,
Once again we are thy kin;
God, accept our expiation,
Maiden pure of mortal sin."
"Lita of the Nile" by Richard Doddridge Blackmore