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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.
    • 1948, George Stephen Baker, Ship Design, Resistance and Screw Propulsion, page 194:
      If any serious number of deck erections have been left unfaired, these percentages will be too low.
  3. (uncountable or countable, ecclesiastical) Formal approval and official establishment of an institution such as a society or a monastery by higher church authorities.
    • 1842, Patrick Robertson, Stewarton Case: Report of the Pleadings [] , page 43:
      There is some obscurity attaching to the only other one of those alleged erections of parishes, the case of Foot Dee, near Aberdeen.
    • 1949, Bernard Joseph Ristuccia, Quasi-religious Societies: A Historical Synopsis and a Commentary, page 65:
      If the erection of a society is made with pontifical authority, then the society is one of pontifical legal status from its inception.
    • 2000, Rose M. McDermott, “Canon 610”, in John P. Beal et al., editors, New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, page 774:
      Concerns for its usefulness to the particular church and the institute should be seriously considered by the diocesan bishop and the major superior before the canonical erection of a house takes place.
  4. (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, published 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, published 2007, →ISBN, page 14:
      A marriage was only consummated via erection, penetration, and insemination intra vas.
  5. (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:
      [] 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, published 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., published 2008, →ISBN, page 104:
      A very rare complication is priapism, where the penis maintains its erection for many hours.
  6. (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.
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 128:
      Nothing is more short-lived than the erection; like the crocus of spring, it is there for a moment, and then it is gone; one moment the penis is small, soft, and insignificant, and then in the next it is hard, rigid, and three and four times its previous size.
    • 2002, Marguerite Crump, No B.O.!: The Head-to-Toe Book of Hygiene for Preteens, Free Spirit Publishing, published 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, published 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, published 2007, →ISBN, page 244:
      He kissed her again, this time with a long, moist kiss that gave him an erection.

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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)