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From Late Middle English ablacioun (removal), from Late Latin ablātiō (a taking away), from auferō (to take away, carry off, withdraw, remove) +‎ -tiō (-tion, nominal suffix); equivalent to ablate +‎ -ion. Doublet of ablatio. Compare French ablation.


  • enPR: ə-blā'-shən, ăb-lā'-shən IPA(key): /əˈbleɪ.ʃn̩/, /æbˈleɪ.ʃn̩/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃən


ablation (countable and uncountable, plural ablations)

  1. (obsolete) A carrying or taking away; removal. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][1]
  2. (surgery) The surgical removal of a body part, an organ, or especially a tumor; the removal of an organ function; amputation. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][1]
  3. (sciences) The progressive removal of material by any of a variety of processes such as melting or vaporization under heat or chipping. [Mid 20th century.][1]
    Hyponym: constitutive ablation
    1. (geology) The removal of a glacier by melting and evaporation; the lowering of a land surface by any of several means, as in wind erosion or mass wasting. [from 20th c.][1]
    2. (meteorology) The depletion of surface snow and ice from a spacecraft or meteorite through melting and evaporation caused by friction with the atmosphere.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “ablation”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 5.




ablation f (plural ablations)

  1. the often forceful removal (physical or otherwise) or abolition of something
    • 2008 April 25, Martine Chouinard, “Brebis égarée”, in Le Devoir[1], archived from the original on 19 June 2008:
      [] se contentant d’annoncer que l’ablation des nouvelles permettra de voguer vers «la production d’émissions culturelles et de divertissement de qualité».
      merely announcing that the elimination of news programming [on tv channel TQS] will allow it to focus on "the production of quality entertainment and cultural programming"
  2. (medicine) ablation
  3. (sciences) ablation

Further reading[edit]