Share this entry

Share this page

ablution

Line breaks: ab¦lu|tion
Pronunciation: /əˈbluːʃ(ə)n
 
/

Definition of ablution in English:

noun

(usually ablutions) formal or humorous
1An act of washing oneself: the women performed their ablutions
More example sentences
  • Our daily lives are being planned around when we can perform our ablutions and eat; an army-style shower is now becoming our treat du jour.
  • On the wires overhead a cheerful community of young swallows were chattering and performing their evening ablutions, stretching one wing out at a time, as far as it would reach, and preening the feathers.
  • When he works in Hampshire, he has to get out of bed at 0530, perform the necessary ablutions, down a coffee and leave the house at 0600.
Synonyms
1.1A ceremonial act of washing parts of the body or sacred containers.
Example sentences
  • She would have been down there taking a ceremonial ablution and praying to the river god Hapi, who was also the god of fertility.
  • He may practice Divine knowledge, meditation, pilgrimages, and ablutions.
  • He applied sandal paste on his forehead and wore the sacred thread across his body and was rigorous in the ablutions before prayers.
1.2 (the ablutions) British (In army slang) a building or room containing washing facilities and toilets.
Example sentences
  • There are taps for the men's ablutions - and an escape tunnel which opens near a ditch to allow the men a speedy getaway.
  • The Bog Standard Campaign was launched to rid schools of rundown ablutions which campaigners say are not just unpleasant, but also affect learning.
  • There has been no… maintenance done to any of the ablutions.

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin ablutio(n-), from abluere, from ab- 'away' + luere 'wash'. The original use was as a term in chemistry and alchemy meaning 'purification by using liquids', hence 'purification of the body by washing' (mid 16th century).

Derivatives

ablutionary

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • The tombs stand on the same platform as a white mosque and virtually in its forecourt, separated from it only by the obligatory ablutionary pond reflecting both the tombs and the mosque.
  • This invention concerns water outlets such as shower heads and water spouts for ablutionary devices or appliances.
  • On the wedding morning, various ablutionary rituals are performed on both the bride and the groom in their own homes.

Definition of ablution in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day prepotent
Pronunciation: prɪˈpəʊt(ə)nt
adjective
greater than others in power or influence