Part of speech: noun
Origin: Latin, early 16th century
Bathing, especially as part of a routine or ritual
The act of washing something
Examples of Ablution in a sentence
"She prepared the altar with the necessary pitcher of water and perfumes for the ablution."
"Every morning she read the paper over a cup of tea, then completed the ablution of the dirty dishes and then herself."
Popularity Over Time
"Ablution" comes from the Latin verb “abluere,” meaning to wash away. The religious ritual context was added in 1533 in a writing by Thomas More. Since then, ablution is used to describe any sort of washing in a formal sense, but particularly as a religious or ritual act.
Did you Know?
"Ablution" is a fancy word for washing, but it has a few particular meanings. It can be used to describe the ritual hand-washing that occurs as part of a Communion ceremony. In Eastern Orthodoxy, ablution is the consumption of the leftover Communion wine. Then the British military decided to use the word in plural (ablutions) to describe a shower building.