Simple Definition of ablution
: the act of washing yourself
Full Definition of ablution
1 a : the washing of one's body or part of it (as in a religious rite) b plural : the act or action of bathing
2 plural British : a building housing bathing and toilet facilities on a military base
Did You Know?
Ablution derives via Middle French and Middle English from the Latin verb abluere, meaning "to wash away," formed from the prefix ab- (away, off) and lavere (to wash). Early uses of the word occurred in contexts of alchemy and chemistry. It was first used of washing as a religious rite by Thomas More in The Apologye Made by Hym (1533). Many religions include some kind of washing of the body in their rituals, usually as a form of purification or dedication. The use of the term to refer to the action of washing one's body without any religious significance did not take hold in English until the mid-18th century.
Origin of ablution
Middle English, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin ablution-, ablutio, from Latin abluere to wash away, from ab- + lavere to wash — more at lye
First Known Use: 1533
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