Definitions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Act of wiping clean; a cleansing; a purging.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of wiping clean: as, “ablution and abstersion,” Scott, Waverley, xx.
  • n. In medicine, a cleansing by substances which remove foulness from about sores, or humors or obstructions from the system.

Etymologies

Either from (Old French, or from Medieval Latin abstertion), from Latin abstersus, past participle of abstergēo. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Baptism, immersion in water, abstersion, purification by water, is of the highest antiquity.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • The best of all these is the shaggy hat, for it makes a very neat abstersion of the fecal matter.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • My ablutions are esteemed the most complete of any man’s in the capital, and the mode of my abstersion the most in use.

    The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan

  • He was not, indeed, so luxuriously attended upon this occasion as the heroic travellers in the Odyssey; the task of ablution and abstersion being performed, not by a beautiful damsel, trained

    The Waverley

  • In fact, the miserable guise of her new lodger now overcame the dame's curiosity to enquire after the fate of her earlier acquaintance, and she gave her instant and exclusive attention to Mr. Touchwood, with many exclamations, while aiding him to perform the task of ablution and abstersion.

    St. Ronan's Well

  • In fact, the miserable guise of her new lodger now overcame the dame’s curiosity to enquire after the fate of her earlier acquaintance, and she gave her instant and exclusive attention to Mr. Touchwood, with many exclamations, while aiding him to perform the task of ablution and abstersion.

    Saint Ronan's Well

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