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See also: érection


Erection of a large tent


Borrowed from Latin ērectiō, ērectiōnis, noun of action from perfect passive participle ērectus, from verb erigō, from prefix ē- (out of) + regō, + action suffix -iō.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɪˈɹɛkʃən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛkʃən


erection (countable and uncountable, plural erections)

  1. (uncountable) The act of building or putting up or together of something.
    Synonyms: building, construction
  2. (countable) Anything erected or built.
    Synonyms: building, construction
    The Empire State Building was once the world's tallest erection.
  3. (uncountable, physiology) The physiological process by which erectile tissue, such as a penis or clitoris, becomes erect by being engorged with blood.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:erection
    • 1997, Alan Hyde, Bodies of Law, Princeton University Press (1997), →ISBN, page 175:
      I think that the case also demonstrates some singular aspects of the penis as a narrator of tales, specifically the way in which the erection of a penis falls outside a man's conscious control and therefore threatens a carefully constructed master legal narrative in which bodily self-control graphically represents the self-government contemplated by a democratic legal society.
    • 2006, Lori Marso, Feminist Thinkers and the Demands of Femininity: The Lives and Work of Intellectual Women, Routledge (2006), →ISBN, unnumbered pages (quoting Simone Beauvoir):
      There are men who say they cannot bear to show themselves naked before women unless in a state of erection; and indeed through erection the flesh becomes activity, potency, []
    • 2007, Edward J. Behrend-Martinez, Unfit for Marriage: Impotent Spouses on Trial in the Basque Region of Spain, 1650-1750, University of Nevada Press (2007), →ISBN, page 14:
      A marriage was only consummated via erection, penetration, and insemination intra vas.
  4. (uncountable, physiology, of a penis or clitoris) The state or quality of being erect from engorgement with blood.
    • 1749, [John Cleland], “(Please specify the letter or volume)”, in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: [] G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] [], OCLC 731622352:
      [] but our experienc'd matron very soon, by chafing it with her hands, brought it to swell to that size and erection I had before seen it up to.
    • 2008, Robert Crooks & Karla Baur, Our Sexuality, Thomson Wadsworth (2008), →ISBN, page 163:
      Older men typically require longer periods of time to achieve erection and reach orgasm.
    • 2011, Alan L. Rubin, Diabetes for Dummies, Wiley Publishing, Inc. (2008), →ISBN, page 104:
      A very rare complication is priapism, where the penis maintains its erection for many hours.
  5. (countable) A penis or clitoris that is erect.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:erect penis
    Hyponyms: priapism, permaboner, death erection, morning wood
    He placed his newspaper on his lap to hide his erection.
    • 2002, Marguerite Crump, No B.O.!: The Head-to-Toe Book of Hygiene for Preteens, Free Spirit Publishing (2005), →ISBN, page 85:
      The surge of hormones during puberty means you might have lots of erections, even when you don't want them—like during school.
    • 2006, Abha Dawesar, That Summer in Paris, Anchor Books (2007), →ISBN, page 259:
      Prem was sure everyone could see his erection through his pants, everyone but Maya, who he had been careful to keep to his side all the time
    • 2007, Ken Follett, World Without End, Dutton (2007), →ISBN, page 244:
      He kissed her again, this time with a long, moist kiss that gave him an erection.

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]


Middle French[edit]


Borrowed from Latin ērectiō, ērectiōnem.


erection f (plural erections)

  1. erection (of a building, etc.)
  2. erection (penile)


  • French: érection


  • erection on Dictionnaire du Moyen Français (1330–1500) (in French)