Definition of absolution
: the act of forgiving someone for having done something wrong or sinful : the act of absolving someone or the state of being absolved; specifically : a remission of sins pronounced by a priest (as in the sacrament of reconciliation) The rite of confessing one's sins to a priest and receiving absolution … is also recognized as a sacrament in the Anglican and Orthodox Christian traditions. — Peter Steinfels
Examples of absolution in a sentence
He asked the priest to give him absolution for his sins.
the jury's verdict of “not guilty” was absolution in the eyes of the law, but the verdict would always be “guilty” in the court of public opinion
Did You Know?
Since the Latin absolutus meant "set free", it's easy to see how absolution came to mean "set free from sin". (And also easy to see why absolute means basically "pure"—that is, originally, "free of sin".) The verb for absolution is absolve. Just as a priest absolves believers of their sins, you may absolve your brother of blame for a household disaster, or you yourself may in time be absolved for that scrape on the car backing out of a parking space.
Origin and Etymology of absolution
Middle English absoluciun, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin absolūtiōn-, absolūtiō “completion, acquittal, release,” from absolū- (stem, before consonants, of absolvere “to set free, acquit, finish”) + -tiōn-, -tiō suffix of action nouns — more at absolve
First Known Use: 13th century
Seen and Heard
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