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[uh-spur-jeez] /əˈspɜr dʒiz/
noun, Roman Catholic Church.
the rite of sprinkling the altar, clergy, and people with holy water before High Mass.
Origin of Asperges
< Latin: thou shalt sprinkle (2nd person singular future of aspergere). See a-5, sparge Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Asperges
Historical Examples
  • With a slow movement, he raised three times the Asperges brush, and he purified him with a gentle rain.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • Asperges me hyssopo et mundabor, lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.

    Olive in Italy Moray Dalton
  • Much hyssop grows here, Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor.

    Letters from the Holy Land Elizabeth Butler
British Dictionary definitions for Asperges


noun (RC Church)
a short rite preceding Mass, in which the celebrant sprinkles those present with holy water to the accompaniment of the chant Asperges me, Domine
the chant opening with these words
Word Origin
C16: from Latin Asperges (me hyssopo) Thou shalt purge (me with hyssop)
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 Asperges

1550s, from Latin asperges, 2nd person singular future indicative of aspergere "to scatter, strew upon, sprinkle," from ad "to" (see ad-) + spargere "to sprinkle" (see sparse). The word is taken from the phrase Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor, from Psalm 51 (Vulgate), sung during the rite of sprinkling a congregation with holy water.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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