a cleansing with water or other liquid, especially as a religious ritual.
the liquid thus used.
Usually, ablutions. a washing of the hands, body, etc.
Historical Examples

The ablution ought, strictly, to be performed once in every twenty-four hours.
Little Masterpieces of Science: Health and Healing Various

This ablution made him clean, but did not bring back his ruddy color.
Put Yourself in His Place Charles Reade

The Court of Oranges was used by the Moslems for ablution before entering the mosque.
Old Continental Towns Walter M. Gallichan

An ablution is a washing or cleansing; especially a religious rite.
Orthography Elmer W. Cavins

Amongst the indispensable rules of the Mahometan faith, ablution is one of the chief.
Shorter Novels, Eighteenth Century Samuel Johnson

I had it dammed higher up and had a place, 10 by 10, made for ablution.
The Bbur-nma in English Babur, Emperor of Hindustan

Our morning ablution had to be performed with cold water and soft soap.
Glimpses into the Abyss Mary Higgs

The dimensions 10 by 10, are those enjoined for places of ablution.
The Bbur-nma in English Babur, Emperor of Hindustan

The men are provided with means for ablution by a few bathing-troughs in their wash-room.
The Prison Chaplaincy, And Its Experiences Hosea Quinby

I asked of the Belha who presented me with a lota of water for the purposes of ablution.
Confessions of a Thug Philip Meadows Taylor

the ritual washing of a priest’s hands or of sacred vessels
(often pl) the act of washing (esp in the phrase perform one’s ablutions)
(pl) (military, informal) a washing place

“ritual washing,” late 14c., from Latin ablutionem (nominative ablutio), noun of action from past participle stem of abluere “to wash off,” from ab- “off” (see ab-) + luere “wash,” related to lavere (see lave).

or washing, was practised, (1.) When a person was initiated into a higher state: e.g., when Aaron and his sons were set apart to the priest’s office, they were washed with water previous to their investiture with the priestly robes (Lev. 8:6). (2.) Before the priests approached the altar of God, they were required, on pain of death, to wash their hands and their feet to cleanse them from the soil of common life (Ex. 30:17-21). To this practice the Psalmist alludes, Ps. 26:6. (3.) There were washings prescribed for the purpose of cleansing from positive defilement contracted by particular acts. Of such washings eleven different species are prescribed in the Levitical law (Lev. 12-15). (4.) A fourth class of ablutions is mentioned, by which a person purified or absolved himself from the guilt of some particular act. For example, the elders of the nearest village where some murder was committed were required, when the murderer was unknown, to wash their hands over the expiatory heifer which was beheaded, and in doing so to say, “Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it” (Deut. 21:1-9). So also Pilate declared himself innocent of the blood of Jesus by washing his hands (Matt. 27:24). This act of Pilate may not, however, have been borrowed from the custom of the Jews. The same practice was common among the Greeks and Romans. The Pharisees carried the practice of ablution to great excess, thereby claiming extraordinary purity (Matt. 23:25). Mark (7:1-5) refers to the ceremonial ablutions. The Pharisees washed their hands “oft,” more correctly, “with the fist” (R.V., “diligently”), or as an old father, Theophylact, explains it, “up to the elbow.” (Compare also Mark 7:4; Lev. 6:28; 11: 32-36; 15:22) (See WASHING.)

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