• synonyms


[uh-bloo-shuh n]
See more synonyms for ablution on Thesaurus.com
  1. a cleansing with water or other liquid, especially as a religious ritual.
  2. the liquid thus used.
  3. Usually ablutions. a washing of the hands, body, etc.
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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. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for ablutionary

Historical Examples

  • The ablutionary fluid is most difficult to be had in places where water is abundant.

    Punchinello, Vol. 1. No. 20, August 13, 1870


  • Like the other, he comes in priestly and ablutionary office.

    Musical Portraits

    Paul Rosenfeld

  • When the two married, Milly's people went through that ablutionary process known as washing their hands of her.


    Edna Ferber

  • The loch was a little too far from the house to be a convenient place of resort for ablutionary purposes.

    Freaks on the Fells

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • The ablutionary tank made by Solomon was as large as a hundred and fifty lavatories.

British Dictionary definitions for ablutionary


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

Word Origin and History for ablutionary



"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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper