Definition of Ablution

1. Noun. The ritual washing of a priest's hands or of sacred vessels.

Generic synonyms: Lavation, Wash, Washing, Ritual
Derivative terms: Ablutionary

Definition of Ablution

1. n. The act of washing or cleansing; specifically, the washing of the body, or some part of it, as a religious rite.

Definition of Ablution

1. Noun. (chemistry) Originally, the purifying of oils and other substances by emulsification with hot water; now more generally, a thorough cleansing of a precipitate or other non-dissolved substance. (defdate from 15th c.) ¹

2. Noun. The act of washing or cleansing the body, or some part of it, as a religious rite. (defdate from 16th c.) ¹

3. Noun. (context: Western Christianity) The rinsing of the priest's hand following the Communion with, depending on rite, water or a mix of it and wine, which may then be drunk by the priest. (defdate from 17th c.) ¹

4. Noun. (literary or humorous usually in the plural) Washing oneself; bathing, cleaning oneself up. (defdate from 17th c.) ¹

5. Noun. The liquid used in cleansing. (defdate from 17th c.) ¹

6. Noun. (context: Orthodox Christianity) The ritual consumption by the deacon or priest of leftover sacred wine of host after the Communion. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Ablution

1. a washing [n -S] - See also: washing

Medical Definition of Ablution

1. 1. The act of washing or cleansing; specifically, the washing of the body, or some part of it, as a religious rite. 2. The water used in cleansing. "Cast the ablutions in the main." 3. A small quantity of wine and water, which is used to wash the priest's thumb and index finger after the communion, and which then, as perhaps containing portions of the consecrated elements, is drunk by the priest. Origin: L. Ablutio, fr. Abluere: cf. F. Ablution. See Abluent. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Ablution Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Ablution

ablution (current term)

Literary usage of Ablution

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the by Charles George Herbermann, Edward Aloysius Pace, Condé Bénoist Pallen, Thomas Joseph Shahan, John Joseph Wynne (1913)
"The sponsors during the ablution either hold the child or at least touch it. ... The rites that accompany the baptismal ablution are as ancient as they are ..."

2. Delineation of Roman Catholicism: Drawn from the Authentic and Acknowledged by Charles Elliott (1851)
"The whole reason of this doubt consists in this, whether such a projection into the river can be called a true ablution, and consequently the proximate ..."

3. Advice to a Mother on the Management of Her Children: And on the Treatment by Pye Henry Chavasse (1868)
"ablution, ETC. 302. Have you any remarks to make on the ablution of boys and girls ? How is it that a mother thinks it absolutely necessary (which it really ..."

4. Cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, Commercial, Industrial by Edward Balfour (1873)
"... twice in a month— that is, his life was so pure that fer a whole fortnight he was not so much defiled as to make necessary a total ablution. ..."

5. An Epitome of Hydrotherapy for Physicians, Architects and Nurses by Simon Baruch (1920)
"ablution The simplest procedure is the local or general ablution. ... In febrile affections the first ablution is given at 85° F. It is repeated every ..."

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