Pronunciation: (ku-thär'sis), [key]
—pl. -sesPronunciation: (-sēz). [key]
1. the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, esp. through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.
a. psychotherapy that encourages or permits the discharge of pent-up, socially unacceptable affects.
b. discharge of pent-up emotions so as to result in the alleviation of symptoms or the permanent relief of the condition.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.