[ab-suh-loo-shuh n]


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 formsnon·ab·so·lu·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for absolution

Contemporary Examples of absolution

  • Revising the second novel, Fallen Land, after the reviews were out for Absolution made it a much less overwhelming process.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Patrick Flanery: How I Write

    Noah Charney

    May 1, 2013

  • What drew you to South Africa as the setting for Absolution?

    The Daily Beast logo
    Patrick Flanery: How I Write

    Noah Charney

    May 1, 2013

  • My agent suggested I try to have a completed draft of a second novel before Absolution was published.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Patrick Flanery: How I Write

    Noah Charney

    May 1, 2013

  • Their candidacies offer a degree of absolution for this uncomfortable fact.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The GOP's New Race Card

    John Avlon

    March 18, 2010

  • Like Gingrich, he is a convert and a thrice-married sinner engaged continually in confession and absolution.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Is Newt Preparing for a 2012 Run?

    Max Blumenthal

    March 29, 2009

Historical Examples of absolution

  • 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 Formsabsolutory (æbˈsɒljʊtərɪ, -trɪ), adjective

Word Origin for absolution

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

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