A food or drug that stimulates evacuation of the bowels.
1. Stimulating evacuation of the bowels.
2. Causing looseness or relaxation, especially of the bowels.
[Middle English, from Old French laxatif, from Medieval Latin laxātīvus, preventing constipation, from Late Latin, assuaging, from Latin laxātus, past participle of laxāre, to relax, from laxus, loose; see LAX.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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