from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Ceremonial purification; especially, a religious act of purgation or cleansing by the use of water or certain sacrifices or ceremonies, or both, performed among the ancients upon persons, armies, cities, localities, animals, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of lustrating or purifying.
  • noun (Antiq.) A sacrifice, or ceremony, by which cities, fields, armies, or people, defiled by crimes, pestilence, or other cause of uncleanness, were purified.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A rite of purification, especially washing.
  • noun The restoration of credibility to a government by the purging of perpetrators of crimes committed under an earlier regime.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin lustratio


  • The idea of airing the past as part of a healing process, and excluding members of the former regime from positions of authority - a process known as "lustration" - is being actively promoted by some in the Ukrainian administration.

    BBC News | News Front Page | World Edition

  • So Christ proposes baptism, as the token of that lustration, which is to purify such as become citizens in the kingdom of heaven.

    Christian Nurture.

  • For my own criticism of the farcical parody of so-called "lustration" in Poland, I would refer him and other readers to my column in The Guardian, May 24, 2007.

    'The Stasi on Our Minds': An Exchange

  • Today, across the border in Poland, a witch-hunt called "lustration" is on for anyone who allegedly "collaborated" in any way with the Communist regime.

    'The Stasi on Our Minds': An Exchange

  • The process, called "lustration," has also been used by Czech right-wingers to embarrass and ruin progressive political leaders.

    Litvinenko's Death: Where the Far Right Meets International Crime

  • My contribution to the debate on the "lustration" law reflects my belief that democracy will prevail in Czechoslovakia, and that it is possible to change the atmosphere of fear, hatred, and distrust that the law has engendered by taking responsibility for the punishment of past abuses out of the hands of politicians.

    Human Rights in Prague

  • We read Jeri Laber's article "Witch Hunt in Prague" [NYR, April 23] with great interest while we were in Prague studying the implementation in Czechoslovakia of the screening law, the so-called "lustration" process, for the British Helsinki Human Rights Group.

    Human Rights in Prague

  • Usually, even after the most measured, innocent mention of "lustration", the "G team" starts shouting in unison about "bloody repressions of democratic murderers" and "witch hunts", after which they just lapse into obscene hysteria.

    open Democracy News Analysis - Comments

  • All the other goodies - such as the release of prisoners or the 'lustration' of the RUC - have long since been delivered.

    Slugger O'Toole

  • For the rest I will take care that due warning is given, and a notice put up in all places, to prevent you being entered on the census as absent; and to get put on the census just before the lustration is the mark of your true man of business. [

    The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1 The Whole Extant Correspodence in Chronological Order


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • All these days they have tended the snakes, washed them with repeated lustrations, soothed them, and exchanged spirits with them.

    - the execrable D.H. Lawrence, The Hopi Snake Dance, from Mornings in Mexico

    October 6, 2008