la·​va·​tion | \ lā-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce lavation (audio) \

Definition of lavation

: the act or an instance of washing or cleansing

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Lavation Has Latin Roots

It sounds logical that you would perform a lavation in a lavatory, doesn't it? And it is logical: both words come from Latin lavare, meaning, appropriately, "to wash." English picked up a few other words from this root as well. In medicine, the therapeutic washing out of an organ is lavage. There is also lavabo (in Latin, literally, "I shall wash"), which in English can refer to a ceremony at Mass in which the celebrant washes his hands, to the basin used in this religious ceremony, or to other kinds of basins. Even the word lavish, via a Middle French word for a downpour of rain, comes to us from lavare.

First Known Use of lavation

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lavation

Middle English lavacioun, from Latin lavation-, lavatio, from lavare

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Time Traveler for lavation

Time Traveler

The first known use of lavation was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Lavation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for lavation


la·​va·​tion | \ lā-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce lavation (audio) \

Medical Definition of lavation

: the act or an instance of washing or cleansing

Other Words from lavation

lavational \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce lavational (audio) \ adjective

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