[ ab-suh-loo-shuh n ]
/ ˌæb səˈlu ʃən /


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.

Nearby words

  1. absolute value,
  2. absolute viscosity,
  3. absolute zero,
  4. absolutely,
  5. absolutely convergent,
  6. absolutism,
  7. absolutist,
  8. absolutive,
  9. absolutize,
  10. absolutory

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

British Dictionary definitions for absolution


/ (ˌæbsəˈluːʃən) /


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