Definition of cataract in English:


See synonyms for cataract

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  • 1A medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.

    ‘she had cataracts in both eyes’
    • ‘The most common causes of visual impairment in the elderly include presbyopia, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.’
    • ‘Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease included asthma and chronic bronchitis, and eye disease included cataracts and glaucoma.’
    • ‘This increased risk of falling may be the result of changes that come with aging plus other medical conditions, such as arthritis, cataracts, or hip surgery.’
    • ‘The study identifies age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract, and diabetic retinopathy as the most common eye diseases in Americans age 40 and over.’
    • ‘Eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts, and joint diseases such as arthritis may severely restrict your mobility.’
    • ‘In fact, scientists now think that misshapen proteins could be the key to a host of illnesses, from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to cataracts and diabetes.’
    • ‘A 67 year old man presented with poor vision, blurring, and glare 16 months after bilateral cataract operations.’
    • ‘For example, some of us are predisposed to cardiovascular disease or chronic diseases, like obesity, certain cancers, cataracts, and diabetes.’
    • ‘In the past, people suffered with worsening vision until the cataract was mature or ‘ripe.’’
    • ‘If the reflection is white instead, the child should be referred to a specialist immediately, as it can be a sign of a cataract or other eye condition.’
    • ‘In some cases, your doctor may recommend you have a cataract operation straight away to stop other eye complications developing.’
    • ‘But as the clouding progresses, the cataract eventually interferes with your vision.’
    • ‘Further compaction causes opacities to develop within the lens - cataract formation.’
    • ‘Last November I had a cataract successfully removed from my right eye at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, and last Wednesday had a similar successful operation on my left eye.’
    • ‘I've had cataracts in my eyes - both eyes - since I was 16.’
    • ‘Government and international charitable organizations, she said, have conducted some programs to rehabilitate people with cataracts.’
    • ‘Sacks' discussion was prompted by his description of a man in his fifties who had recently had cataracts removed allowing him to see things other than light and dark for the first time since he was a young child.’
    • ‘An incision was made through the cornea and ultrasound used to break up the cataract.’
    • ‘People I know who've had cataracts removed have always confirmed this when they've said that colours have been overwhelming and looked as they did when they were children.’
    • ‘The four-month-old is one of the three in every 10,000 children born with cataracts which leave them with extremely poor sight.’
    opacity, opaqueness
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  • 2A large waterfall.

    ‘the river descends in a succession of spectacular cataracts’
    • ‘A cataract is also a waterfall - a glorious force that washes away so much you're glad to be rid of, perhaps with some cleansing tears as a finale.’
    • ‘The Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan, built in 1899, stands at the site of the first cataract, or waterfall, of the Nile.’
    • ‘After a wet spell, the cataract is more spectacular, but the penalty is the state of the ground.’
    • ‘My breath comes out in puffs of steam, like water falling from a cataract.’
    • ‘This is Kaieteur Falls, one of the molt spectacular cataracts in the world.’
    • ‘This was the region known as Upper Egypt, being upstream of the Nile. After Aswan, the Nile passes through a section of hard rock, resulting in rapids or cataracts.’
    • ‘The river was much larger than she thought, it had fast moving rapids and cataracts.’
    • ‘It is believed the moon shares many of Earth's features, including canyons, mountains, craters, rivers, lakes, cataracts, wind-blown waves, shorelines and even snow.’
    • ‘Whether you're in residence here or not, don't miss taking tea or Turkish coffee on its riverside balcony, there to view the eponymous cataracts and the scimitar sails of the feluccas.’
    • ‘Half an hour later, we round the last bend, and there, tumbling into a wide, sand-fringed plunge-pool are the silky cataracts of Twin Falls.’
    • ‘In my ignorance, I had supposed that Egyptian civilisation spread up the Nile, stumbled on the first of the cataracts and petered out in the great loop in which we were travelling.’
    • ‘Straddling the Brazil-Argentina border is the Iguassu Falls, a range of cataracts that could be the most perfectly designed in the world.’
    • ‘But sand shallows, cataracts, and poison arrows turned his small boats back.’
    • ‘And, talking about the Victoria Falls, millions of Kwacha would have to be poured into a programme to enlighten the world that the larger part of the water cataract is, in fact, on the Zambian side.’
    • ‘Below Steall, the Water of Nevis is no less than a thundering cataract, as it flows from the flats and gouges its way through and down a tight narrow gorge.’
    • ‘Ahead, lay a sleepy Nubian town, and beyond lay an angry cataract; the water boiled and frothed through the gorge and over hidden rocks.’
    waterfall, cascade, falls, rapids, white water
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    1. 2.1A sudden rush of water; a downpour.
      ‘the rain enveloped us in a deafening cataract’
      • ‘The current weather report is for, basically, the sky to collapse, typhoons, cataracts and hurricanes, spouting till they have drench'd our steeples, etc.’



/ˈkadəˌrakt/ /ˈkædəˌrækt/


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘floodgate’): from Latin cataracta ‘waterfall, floodgate’, also ‘portcullis’ (medical cataract (sense 1) probably being a figurative use of this), from Greek kataraktēs ‘down-rushing’, from katarassein, from kata- ‘down’ + arassein ‘strike, smash’.