[uh-bloo-shuh n]


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 formsab·lu·tion·ar·y, adjective
Can be confusedablation ablution
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for ablution

bath, purification, shower, lavation, decontamination, cleansing

Examples from the Web for ablution

Historical Examples of ablution

  • "There ain't any ablution in the house," said the mystified Hannah.

  • This ablution made him clean, but did not bring back his ruddy color.

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


    Elmer W. Cavins

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


    Herman Hesse

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

British Dictionary definitions for ablution



the ritual washing of a priest's hands or of sacred vessels
(often plural) the act of washing (esp in the phrase perform one's ablutions)
(plural) military informal a washing place
Derived Formsablutionary, adjective

Word Origin for ablution

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

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