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90s Slang You Should Know


[uhngk-shuh n] /ˈʌŋk ʃən/
an act of anointing, especially as a medical treatment or religious rite.
an unguent or ointment; salve.
something soothing or comforting.
an excessive, affected, sometimes cloying earnestness or fervor in manner, especially in speaking.
  1. the oil used in religious rites, as in anointing the sick or dying.
  2. the shedding of a divine or spiritual influence upon a person.
  3. the influence shed.
  4. extreme unction.
the manifestation of spiritual or religious inspiration.
Origin of unction
1350-1400; Middle English unctioun < Latin ūnctiōn (stem of ūnctiō) anointing, besmearing, equivalent to ūnct(us) (past participle of ung(u)ere to smear, anoint) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
unctionless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unction
Historical Examples
  • The hypocrite's voice was full of unction; the deaconess spoke with pious gravity.

  • Even the Cameronians agreed that there was “unction” in the Doctor.

    The Dew of Their Youth S. R. Crockett
  • She recovered, repented, related her experiences with unction, and lived ever after happy.

    Child Life in Colonial Days Alice Morse Earle
  • He adjured Pixie repeatedly, and with unction, to “Buck up!”

    The Love Affairs of Pixie Mrs George de Horne Vaizey
  • Doyle was all unction and hospitality when he met Lily in the hall.

    A Poor Wise Man Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Mr Pancks answered, with an unction which there is no language to convey, 'We rather think so.'

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • The laver with its foot: thou shalt consecrate all with the oil of unction, that they may be most holy.

  • Juve pronounced these words with unction, in a solemn voice.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • St. Vincent de Paul had preached with unction and a grave simplicity, and Bossuet, his disciple, felt his influence.

  • If she should be able, after receiving absolution and the unction, she—she may see you, monsignor.

    The Genius Margaret Horton Potter
British Dictionary definitions for unction


(mainly RC Church, Eastern Churches) the act of anointing with oil in sacramental ceremonies, in the conferring of holy orders
excessive suavity or affected charm
an ointment or unguent
anything soothing or comforting
Derived Forms
unctionless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin unctiō an anointing, from ungere to anoint; see unguent
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 unction

late 14c., "act of anointing as a religious rite," from Latin unctionem (nominative unctio) "anointing," from unctus, past participle of ungere "to anoint" (see unguent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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unction in Medicine

unction unc·tion (ŭngk'shən)
The action of applying or rubbing with an ointment or oil.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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