Definition of ablution
1 formal : the washing of one's body or part of it (as in a religious rite) —usually plural ritual ablutions performing his morning ablutions
2 ablutions plural, British : a building on a military base that houses bathing and toilet facilities
ablutionaryplay \-shə-ˌner-ē, -ˌne-rē\ adjective
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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. The first known use of ablution to refer to washing as a religious rite occurs in Thomas More's 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. In British English, ablutions can also refer to a building housing bathing and toilet facilities on a military base.
Origin and Etymology of ablution
Middle English, from Medieval French or Late Latin; Medieval 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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