Definition of ablation in English:


Line breaks: ab|la¦tion
Pronunciation: /əˈbleɪʃ(ə)n


[mass noun]
  • 1The surgical removal of body tissue.
    More example sentences
    • Treatment by surgical excision or physical ablation of the excess tissue may improve cosmetic appearance.
    • All seven patients with diverticula of the CS who were not treated with catheter or surgical ablation eventually died.
    • Endometrial ablation is the first surgical advance in the treatment of menorrhagia since hysterectomy.
  • 2The removal of snow and ice from a glacier or iceberg by melting or evaporation.
    More example sentences
    • A glacier forms whenever the accumulation of snow/ice exceeds ablation over a sustained period of time.
    • It provides an estimate of how much precipitation or temperature change must be invoked to explain the current net ablation of the glacier.
    • Searches were delayed until June, when snow ablation was 90% complete.
  • 2.1The erosion of rock, typically by wind action.
    More example sentences
    • The stream loads will likely experience almost continual aggradation and ablation.
    • Potassic minerals were degassed with an argon laser probe using step heating or direct ablation of grains on thin rock sections.
    • Some slopes are steep and sharply incise ancient surfaces of ablation, as is the case south of PA2 and PA4.
  • 2.2The loss of surface material from a spacecraft or meteorite through evaporation or melting caused by friction with the atmosphere.
    More example sentences
    • This thing came screaming down through the Martian atmosphere and it underwent some ablation.
    • The most effective thermal protection method for single re-entry vehicles was ablation.
    • Deceleration of meteorites begins high in the atmosphere where the surface of the incoming body heats up to incandescence causing melting and ablation.



More example sentences
  • Thus, if continental ice sheets formed at all, they would have been ablated as the ice age got into high gear.
  • Drying winds slowly ablate away the ice from the material, leaving them soft and dry, although still very cold, by the next day.
  • The laser beam zaps a pinhead-sized area on the target, ablating or vaporizing it.


late Middle English (in the general sense 'taking away, removal'): from late Latin ablatio(n-), from Latin ablat- 'taken away', from ab- 'away' + lat- 'carried' (from the verb ferre).

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