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A ritual libation


From Latin lībātiō, from lībāre (to take a little from anything, to taste, to pour out as an offering).


  • IPA(key): /laɪˈbeɪʃən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃən


libation (countable and uncountable, plural libations)

  1. The act of pouring a liquid, most often wine, in sacrifice on the ground, on a ritual object, or on a victim, in honor of some deity.
    Synonyms: tip, tipping
    • 1755, Callimachus, “The First Hymn of Callimachus. To Jupiter.”, in William Dodd, transl., The Hymns of Callimachus, [], London: [] The translator [William Dodd], [], →OCLC, page 1:
      While we to Jove the pure libations pay,
      Than Jove what apter claims the hallow'd lay?
  2. The wine or liquid thus poured out.
  3. (often humorous) A beverage, especially an alcoholic one.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:alcoholic beverage
    • 1997, David Foster Wallace, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again”, in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Kindle edition, Little, Brown Book Group:
      [] watching you, the waiters, not quite making eye-contact but scanning for any little way to be of service, plus plum-jacketed sommeliers walking around to see if you need a non-buffet libation
    • 2007 November, Elizabeth Drake, “Combine and conquer: Use these winning food pairings to protect your health”, in Men's Health, volume 22, number 9, →ISSN, page 126:
      What's more, Swedish researchers found that the fat and fiber in nuts slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. This can help smooth out the effects of moderate alcohol consumption. For best results, try to eat about 15 minutes before taking your first libation.

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libation f (plural libations)

  1. libation

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