Origin of Asperges

< Latin: thou shalt sprinkle (2nd person singular future of aspergere). See a-5, sparge Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for asperges

Historical Examples of asperges

  • With a slow movement, he raised three times the asperges brush, and he purified him with a gentle rain.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Asperges me hyssopo et mundabor, lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.

    Olive in Italy

    Moray Dalton

  • Much hyssop grows here, Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor.

British Dictionary definitions for asperges


noun RC Church
  1. a short rite preceding Mass, in which the celebrant sprinkles those present with holy water to the accompaniment of the chant Asperges me, Domine
  2. the chant opening with these words

Word Origin for Asperges

C16: from Latin Asperges (me hyssopo) Thou shalt purge (me with hyssop)
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 asperges



1550s, from Latin asperges, 2nd person singular future indicative of aspergere "to scatter, strew upon, sprinkle," from ad "to" (see ad-) + spargere "to sprinkle" (see sparse). The word is taken from the phrase Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor, from Psalm 51 (Vulgate), sung during the rite of sprinkling a congregation with holy water.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper