What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?


[uhngk-shuh n] /ˈʌŋk ʃən/
an act of anointing, especially as a medical treatment or religious rite.
an unguent or ointment; salve.
something soothing or comforting.
an excessive, affected, sometimes cloying earnestness or fervor in manner, especially in speaking.
  1. the oil used in religious rites, as in anointing the sick or dying.
  2. the shedding of a divine or spiritual influence upon a person.
  3. the influence shed.
  4. extreme unction.
the manifestation of spiritual or religious inspiration.
Origin of unction
1350-1400; Middle English unctioun < Latin ūnctiōn (stem of ūnctiō) anointing, besmearing, equivalent to ūnct(us) (past participle of ung(u)ere to smear, anoint) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
unctionless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for unction
  • He speaks of chrism as a holy thing, and of the unction that was used at baptism.
  • Preserve the grace of the holy baptism, and the unction of the chrism.
  • At nine o'clock the same evening she desired and received extreme unction.
British Dictionary definitions for unction


(mainly RC Church, Eastern Churches) the act of anointing with oil in sacramental ceremonies, in the conferring of holy orders
excessive suavity or affected charm
an ointment or unguent
anything soothing or comforting
Derived Forms
unctionless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin unctiō an anointing, from ungere to anoint; see unguent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for unction

late 14c., "act of anointing as a religious rite," from Latin unctionem (nominative unctio) "anointing," from unctus, past participle of ungere "to anoint" (see unguent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
unction in Medicine

unction unc·tion (ŭngk'shən)
The action of applying or rubbing with an ointment or oil.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
unction in the Bible

(1 John 2:20,27; R.V., "anointing"). Kings, prophets, and priests were anointed, in token of receiving divine grace. All believers are, in a secondary sense, what Christ was in a primary sense, "the Lord's anointed."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for unction

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for unction

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with unction

Nearby words for unction