ablution

play
noun ab·lu·tion \ə-ˈblü-shən, a-\

Definition of ablution

  1. 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. 2 ablutions plural, British :  a building on a military base that houses bathing and toilet facilities

ablutionary

play \-shə-ˌner-ē, -ˌne-rē\ adjective

ablution was our Word of the Day on 06/04/2016. Hear the podcast!

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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 ablucioun “cleansing of oil (in alchemy),” borrowed from Late Latin ablūtiōn-, ablūtiō “washing, cleansing” (Medieval Latin, “cleansing of oil”), from Latin abluere “to wash off, cleanse,” from ab- ab- + -luere, form in combination of lavere “to wash” + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at lye


First Known Use: 1533

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms


Medical Dictionary

ablution

play
noun ab·lu·tion \ə-ˈblü-shən, a-ˈblü-\

Medical Definition of ablution

  1. :  the washing of one's body or part of it

ablutionary

\-shə-ˌner-ē\play adjective


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