[lahy-bey-shuh n]


a pouring out of wine or other liquid in honor of a deity.
the liquid poured out.
Often Facetious.
  1. an intoxicating beverage, as wine, especially when drunk in ceremonial or celebrative situations.
  2. an act or instance of drinking such a beverage.

Origin of libation

1350–1400; Middle English libacio(u)n < Latin lībātiōn- (stem of lībātiō) a drink offering, equivalent to lībāt(us) (past participle of lībāre to pour; cognate with Greek leíbein) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsli·ba·tion·al, li·ba·tion·ar·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for libation

Contemporary Examples of libation

Historical Examples of libation

British Dictionary definitions for libation



  1. the pouring out of wine, etc, in honour of a deity
  2. the liquid so poured out
usually facetious an alcoholic drink
Derived Formslibational or libationary, adjective

Word Origin for libation

C14: from Latin lībātiō, from lībāre to pour an offering of drink
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 libation

late 14c., "pouring out of wine in honor of a god," from Latin libationem (nominative libatio) "a drink offering," noun of action from past participle stem of libare "pour out (an offering)," from PIE *(s)leib- "to pour, drop" (cf. Greek leibein "to pour, make a libation"), an enlargement of root *lei- "to pour, to flow" (cf. Sanskrit riyati "to let run;" Greek aleison "a wine vessel;" Lithuanian lieju "to pour," lytus "rain;" Hittite lilai- "to let go;" Albanian lyse, lise "a stream;" Welsh lliant "a stream, a sea," llifo "to flow;" Old Irish lie "a flood;" Breton livad "inundation;" Gaelic lighe "a flood, overflow;" Gothic leithu "fruit wine;" Old Church Slavonic liti, lêju, Bulgarian leja "I pour;" Czech liti, leji, Old Polish lić "to pour"). Transferred sense of "liquid poured out to be drunk" is from 1751. Related: Libations.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper