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13 Essential Literary Terms

absolution

[ab-suh-loo-shuh n] /ˌæb səˈlu ʃən/
noun
1.
act of absolving; a freeing from blame or guilt; release from consequences, obligations, or penalties.
2.
state of being absolved.
3.
Roman Catholic Theology.
  1. a remission of sin or of the punishment for sin, made by a priest in the sacrament of penance on the ground of authority received from Christ.
  2. the formula declaring such remission.
4.
Protestant Theology. a declaration or assurance of divine forgiveness to penitent believers, made after confession of sins.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English absolucion < Latin absolūtiōn- (stem of absolūtiō) acquittal. See absolute, -ion
Related forms
nonabsolution, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for absolution
  • Some were already seeking absolution for screwing up the economy.
  • His absolution in the first case deepened their cynicism about an already suspect judiciary and ignited large protests.
  • By insisting on his impressive desires, the expert in self-justification was writing out his absolution in advance.
  • The difference is in who can grant absolution for them.
  • Far from saying that losing a war means being put in the dock, it would say that victory does not guarantee absolution.
  • After all, penitence gives strength, and attrition leads to absolution.
  • But one needs no absolution from a nonexistent order.
  • The idea of this ceremony is, that the sins of the deceased enter the calf, or that the task of his absolution is laid on it.
  • Dobson's lugubrious absolution is a particularly fine specimen.
  • Big-time movie stars are finding it harder to find absolution for their transgressions.
British Dictionary definitions for absolution

absolution

/ˌæbsəˈluːʃən/
noun
1.
the act of absolving or the state of being absolved; release from guilt, obligation, or punishment
2.
(Christianity)
  1. a formal remission of sin pronounced by a priest in the sacrament of penance
  2. the prescribed form of words granting such a remission
Derived Forms
absolutory (æbˈsɒljʊtərɪ; -trɪ) adjective
Word Origin
C12: from Latin absolūtiōn- acquittal, forgiveness of sins, from absolvere to absolve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for absolution
n.

"remission, forgiveness," c.1200, from Old French absolucion, earlier assolucion, from Latin absolutionem (nominative absolutio) "completion, acquittal," noun of action from past participle stem of absolvere "to absolve" (see absolve). Originally of sins; in general use from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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