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[ab-suh-loo-shuh n] /ˌæb səˈlu ʃən/
act of absolving; a freeing from blame or guilt; release from consequences, obligations, or penalties.
state of being absolved.
Roman Catholic Theology.
  1. a remission of sin or of the punishment for sin, made by a priest in the sacrament of penance on the ground of authority received from Christ.
  2. the formula declaring such remission.
Protestant Theology. a declaration or assurance of divine forgiveness to penitent believers, made after confession of sins.
Origin of absolution
1175-1225; Middle English absolucion < Latin absolūtiōn- (stem of absolūtiō) acquittal. See absolute, -ion
Related forms
nonabsolution, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for absolution
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Special assurance of forgiveness is also given in Confession and absolution.

  • To the priest who gave her absolution she said, "I am dying because I listened to and believed the demon."

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • And as yet I had received no absolution for the mortal offences I had committed at Piacenza.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • After Fra Antonio's brave attempt at absolution, the woman had fainted.

    Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer Cyrus Townsend Brady
  • He burrowed deep, deep, in the hope of my absolution, which would have been of no good to him.

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for absolution


the act of absolving or the state of being absolved; release from guilt, obligation, or punishment
  1. a formal remission of sin pronounced by a priest in the sacrament of penance
  2. the prescribed form of words granting such a remission
Derived Forms
absolutory (æbˈsɒljʊtərɪ; -trɪ) adjective
Word Origin
C12: from Latin absolūtiōn- acquittal, forgiveness of sins, from absolvere to absolve
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 absolution

"remission, forgiveness," c.1200, from Old French absolucion, earlier assolucion, from Latin absolutionem (nominative absolutio) "completion, acquittal," noun of action from past participle stem of absolvere "to absolve" (see absolve). Originally of sins; in general use from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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