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First appears in Middle English circa 1425, derived from Latin unctus (anointed) and related terms.[1] Ayurvedic sense is one of several competing translations of Sanskrit snehana.


unct (third-person singular simple present uncts, present participle uncting, simple past and past participle uncted)

  1. (archaic) To anoint, especially a monarch or other patriarchal leader.
    The King was uncted in the nick of time
    • 1552, ed. Catholic Church, John Hamilton, Thomas Graves Law, The Catechism of John Hamilton, Archbishop of St. Andrews, 1552, published 1884, page 229
      [] and lat thame pray ouir him and unct him with oyle in the name of our Lord, []
    • 1769, Thomas Chatterton, The Rowley Poems, "Englysh Metamorphosis",
      Tyll tyred with battles, for to ceese the fraie, / Theie uncted Brutus kynge, and gave the Trojanns swaie.
    • 2001, Sheila Fischman tr., The Little Girl who was Too Fond of Matches: A Novel[2] (original by Gaétan Soucy), →ISBN, page 11,
      I suppose the prospect of the sly devils in the village forcing my brother and me to kick the bucket without even uncting us extremely skewered me in every direction on the barbecue grill of those ancient queries concerning hell and its kind.
  2. (Ayurvedic medicine) To lubricate.
    • 2008, Swami Sadashiva Tirtha, The Ayurveda Encyclopedia[3], →ISBN, page 197:
      This is also an uncting procedure in which oil is dropped into the nose and expelled through the mouth.


Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ Hans Kurath, Sherman McAllister Kuhn, Robert E. Lewis (1952) Middle English Dictionary[1], →ISBN, pages page 69




unct (third-person singular present uncts, present participle uncting, past unctit, past participle unctit)

  1. To unct; to anoint.
    • 1734, Robert Keith, History of the Affairs of Church and State in Scotland, Spottiswoode Society ed. edition, published 1850:
      Quhy use ze nocht the samin sevin be sik names as thai ar expressit in Scriptuir but ferthair contentioun, as Baptim; the Lordis Supper; the Impositioun of Handis, in Confirmatioun and Ordinatioun of Ministeris; the Keis for Absolutioun to the penitent; Matrimonie; the Prayer on the Seik with uncting of oill?