AskDefine | Define ablution

Dictionary Definition

ablution n : the ritual washing of a priest's hands or of sacred vessels

User Contributed Dictionary



ablutio, from abluo. Compare French ablution.



  1. The act of washing or cleansing; specifically, the washing of the body, or some part of it, as a religious rite.
  2. The water used in cleansing.
    • Pope
      Cast the ablutions in the main.
  3. In the context of "Roman Catholic Church": A small quantity of wine and water, which is used to wash the priest's thumb and index finger after the communion, and which then, as perhaps containing portions of the consecrated elements, is drunk by the priest.

Related terms


the act of washing or cleansing
  • Finnish: peseytyminen
the water used in cleansing
  • Finnish: pesuvesi
Roman Catholic Church: a small quantity of wine and water

Extensive Definition

Ablution is a term referring to washing, and can mean:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

cleaning out, douche, douching, elution, elutriation, enema, flush, flushing, flushing out, irrigation, lathering, lavabo, lavage, lavation, laving, mopping, mopping up, rinse, rinsing, scouring, scrub, scrubbing, scrubbing up, shampoo, soaping, sponge, sponging, swabbing, wash, washing, washing up, washout, washup, wiping up
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