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[uh-bloo-shuh n] /əˈblu ʃən/
a cleansing with water or other liquid, especially as a religious ritual.
the liquid thus used.
Usually, ablutions. a washing of the hands, body, etc.
Origin of ablution
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin ablūtiōn- (stem of ablūtiō), equivalent to ablūt(us), past participle of abluere (see abluent) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
ablutionary, adjective
Can be confused
ablation, ablution. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ablution
Historical Examples
  • "There ain't any ablution in the house," said the mystified Hannah.

    Paul Prescott's Charge Horatio Alger
  • This ablution made him clean, but did not bring back his ruddy color.

  • An ablution is a washing or cleansing; especially a religious rite.

    Orthography Elmer W. Cavins
  • The evening had come, it was time to perform the evening's ablution.

    Siddhartha Herman Hesse
  • Our morning ablution had to be performed with cold water and soft soap.

  • I had it dammed higher up and had a place, 10 by 10, made for ablution.

    The Bbur-nma in English

    Babur, Emperor of Hindustan
  • The dimensions 10 by 10, are those enjoined for places of ablution.

    The Bbur-nma in English

    Babur, Emperor of Hindustan
  • I asked of the Belha who presented me with a lota of water for the purposes of ablution.

    Confessions of a Thug Philip Meadows Taylor
  • Knowledge is to purification and asceticism what ablution is to prayer.

    Letters from a Sf Teacher Shaikh Sharfuddn Maner
  • Herring watched the progress of the ablution with much interest.

    The Seven Darlings Gouverneur Morris
British Dictionary definitions for ablution


the ritual washing of a priest's hands or of sacred vessels
(often pl) the act of washing (esp in the phrase perform one's ablutions)
(pl) (military, informal) a washing place
Derived Forms
ablutionary, adjective
Word Origin
C14: ultimately from Latin ablūere to wash away
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ablution

"ritual washing," late 14c., from Latin ablutionem (nominative ablutio), noun of action from past participle stem of abluere "to wash off," from ab- "off" (see ab-) + luere "wash," related to lavere (see lave).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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