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From Middle French and Latin ablātiō (a taking away), from ablātus (removed), the perfect passive participle of auferō (carry away). Compare French ablation.


  • (US) enPR: ə-blā'-shən, ăb-lā'-shən IPA(key): /əˈbleɪ.ʃn̩/, /æbˈleɪ.ʃn̩/
  • (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. (medicine) 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 vaporization under heat or chipping. [Mid 20th century.][1]
  4. (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, mass wasting. [Mid 20th century.][1]
  5. (meteorology) The depletion of surface snow and ice by melting and evaporation.

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


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