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Alternative forms[edit]


From the participle stem of Latin dēfaecāre (to purify), from de- and faex (dreg, impurity).



  • IPA(key): /ˈdɛfɪkeɪt/
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  • IPA(key): /ˈdɛfɪkət/
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defecate (third-person singular simple present defecates, present participle defecating, simple past and past participle defecated)

  1. (intransitive) To excrete feces from one's bowels.
  2. (now rare) To purify, to clean of dregs etc.
    • 1744, Robert Boyle with Thomas Birch, edited by Thomas Birch, The Works of the Honourable Robert Boyle: In Five Volumes : to which is Prefixed, the Life of the Author[1], 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 proportion of it would come over ſo tranſparent and finely coloured, that the experiment did not a little pleaſe thoſe I ſhewed it to.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC, page 224:
      Some are of opinion that such fat, standing waters make the best beer, and that seething doth defecate it […].
  3. (now rare, transitive) To purge; to pass (something) as excrement.


Related terms[edit]



defecate (comparative more defecate, superlative most defecate)

  1. (obsolete) Freed from pollutants, dregs, lees, etc.; refined; purified.
    • 1699, William Bates, Spiritual Perfection, unfolded and enforced:
      Till the soul be defecate from the dregs of sense.





  1. second-person plural present and imperative of defecare




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of dēfecō




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of defecar combined with te