cataract

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English[edit]

Devil's Throat, Iguaçu fall's largest cataract (2)

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English cataract, cateract, cataracta, from Latin cataracta (waterfall, portcullis), from Ancient Greek καταρράκτης (katarrháktēs), from καταράσσω (katarássō, I pour down), from κατα- (kata-, down) + ἀράσσω (arássō, to strike, dash).[1][2] Its pathological sense probably came from its alternative sense in Latin, “portcullis”, through French through the notion of “obstruction”, in this case, of vision.[2]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈkætəɹækt/
    • (file)

Noun[edit]

cataract (plural cataracts)

  1. (obsolete) A waterspout
  2. A large waterfall; steep rapids in a river.
    The cataracts on the Nile helped to compartment Upper Egypt.
  3. A flood of water.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  4. (figuratively) An overwhelming downpour or rush.
    His cataract of eloquence
    • 1842, Alfred Tennyson, The Day-Dream[1], New York: E. P. Dutton, published 1885, page 54:
      The palace bang’d, and buzz’d and clackt, / And all the long-pent stream of life / Dash’d downward in a cataract.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, chapter 1, in Moby Dick:
      Were Niagara but a cataract of sand, would you travel your thousand miles to see it?
  5. (pathology) A clouding of the lens in the eye leading to a decrease in vision.
    • 1999, J J Gallo, J Busby-Whitehead, W Reichel, P V Rabins, R A Silliman, Reichel's care of the elderly[2], page 563:
      Rarely, a dense, swollen neglected cataract precipitates an angle-closure glaucoma.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cataract § Etymology
  2. 2.0 2.1 Douglas Harper (2001–2021) , “cataract”, in Online Etymology Dictionary

Further reading[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Dutch cataracte, from Latin cataracta, from Ancient Greek καταρράκτης (katarrháktēs).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˌkaː.taːˈrɑkt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ca‧ta‧ract
  • Rhymes: -ɑkt

Noun[edit]

cataract f (plural cataracten, diminutive cataractje n)

  1. cataract, waterfall
  2. (medicine) cataract

Synonyms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Afrikaans: katarak
  • Indonesian: katarak

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin cataracta, from Ancient Greek καταράκτης (kataráktēs).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈkatərakt(ə)/, /ˈkatərak/, /ˈkatərakta/

Noun[edit]

cataract (plural cateractes)

  1. (medicine) cataract
  2. (Christianity) A gate guarding the entrance to Heaven.

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]