1570s, "to purify, clarify, clear from dregs or impurities," from Latin defaecatus, past participle of defaecare "cleanse from dregs, purify," from the phrase de faece "from dregs" (see de- + feces). Figurative sense "purge of extraneous matter" is from 1620s. Excretory sense "void feces from the bowels" is by 1849 in medical writing, probably from French. Related: Defecated; defecating.
"act of making satisfaction or reparation for an offense, atonement, reparation," early 15c., expiacioun, from Latin expiationem (nominative expiatio) "satisfaction, atonement," noun of action from past-participle stem of expiare "make amends for, atone for; purge by sacrifice, make good," from ex- "completely" (see ex-) + piare "propitiate, appease," from pius "faithful, loyal, devout" (see pious).
The sacrifice of expiation is that which tendeth to appease the wrath of God. [Thomas Norton, translation of Calvin's "Institutes of Christian Religion," 1561]
"hind-quarters, back-end, or buttocks of an animal," the part to which the tail is attached, mid-15c., from a Scandinavian source (compare Danish, Norwegian rumpe, Swedish rumpa), from or corresponding to Middle Dutch romp, German Rumpf "trunk, torso."
Specifically of this part used as food by late 15c. The figurative sense of "small remnant, tail-end of anything" derives from the notion of "tail" and is recorded from 1640s in reference to the English Rump Parliament (December 1648-April 1653), so called from sitting after the expulsion of the majority of members of the Long Parliament in Pride's Purge. As an adjective from c. 1600. Also in 18c. and 19c. a verb, "to turn one's back to" as a snub.
1770, "a bodily purging" (especially of the bowels), from Latinized form of Greek katharsis "purging, cleansing," from stem of kathairein "to purify, purge," from katharos "pure, clear of dirt, clean, spotless; open, free; clear of shame or guilt; purified" (with most of the extended senses now found in Modern English clear, clean, pure), which is of unknown origin.
Originally medical in English; of emotions, "a purging through vicarious experience," from 1872; psychotherapy sense first recorded 1909, in Brill's translation of Freud's "Selected Papers on Hysteria."
The German abreagiren has no exact English equivalent. It will therefore be rendered throughout the text by "ab-react," the literal meaning is to react away from or to react off. It has different shades of meaning, from defense reaction to emotional catharsis, which can be discerned from the context. [footnote, pp. 5-6]