The Alternative English Dictionary: ablution

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Entry definition

ablution etymology From Middle English, ablucioun, from Old French ablution, and its source, ll ablūtiō, from abluō, from ab + luō{{R:CDOE|page=3}}. pronunciation
  • (RP) /əˈbluː.ʃn̩/
  • (US) /əˈblu.ʃn̩/, /æbˈlu.ʃn̩/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The act of washing something.
    1. (chemistry) Originally, the purifying of oils and other substances by emulsification with hot water; now more generally, a thorough cleansing of a precipitate or other non-dissolved substance. {{defdate}}
    2. The act of washing or cleansing the body, or some part of it, as a religious rite. {{defdate}}{{R:SOED5|page=5-6}}
    3. (literary or humorous, usually, in the plural) Washing oneself; bathing, cleaning oneself up. {{defdate}}
      • 1835, William Gilmore Simms, The Partisan, Harper, Chapter II, page 25, “He followed the steps of Bella, who soon conducted him to his chamber, and left him to those ablutions which a long ride along a sandy road had rendered particularly necessary.”
    4. (Western Christianity) The rinsing of the priest's hand and the sacred vessel following the Communion with, depending on rite, water or a mix of it and wine, which may then be drunk by the priest. {{defdate}}
  2. The liquid used in the cleansing or ablution. {{defdate}}
    • Cast the ablutions in the main.
  3. (Orthodox Christianity) The ritual consumption by the deacon or priest of leftover sacred wine of host after the Communion.
  4. (pluralonly, UK, military) The location or building where the showers and sinks are located. {{defdate}}
related terms:
  • abluent
  • ablute
  • abutilon

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