Definition of lotion in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlōSH(ə)n/


A thick, smooth liquid preparation designed to be applied to the skin for medicinal or cosmetic purposes.
Example sentences
  • Use creams, ointments, or lotion many times throughout the day to keep the skin soft.
  • They can be applied directly to the skin as lotions, creams or ointments.
  • Sometimes jaundice causes itching which can be treated with preparations such as calamine lotion.


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin lotio(n-), from lot- 'washed', from the verb lavare.

  • launder from Middle English:

    In the sense ‘to wash clothes or linen’, launder was originally a contracted form of lavender, a medieval word meaning ‘a person who washes clothes’. It goes back to Latin lavare to wash, the source of lava (mid 18th century) originally an Italian word for ‘steam’ narrowed down to mean a stream of lava; lavatory (Late Middle English); and lavish (Late Middle English) where the sense of ‘profusion’ comes from the French for a deluge of rain; and lotion (Late Middle English) which in the past could also be used for the action of washing as well as for a liquid rubbed on. Lavender (Late Middle English) probably does not come directly from lavare, but its form was altered to look as if it did, because lavender was used to scent washing. The Watergate scandal in the USA in the early 1970s, in which an attempt to bug the national headquarters of the Democratic Party led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, gave the world money laundering. Before bathrooms and running water, people washed from a basin or bowl. This is what a lavatory originally was—vessel for washing. In the mid 17th century the word came to refer to a room with washing facilities, from which developed the modern sense of a toilet.

Words that rhyme with lotion

commotion, devotion, emotion, groschen, Laotian, locomotion, motion, notion, Nova Scotian, ocean, potion, promotion

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lo·tion

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