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Borrowed from Latin unctiō.


  • IPA(key): /ʌŋkʃən/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌŋkʃən


unction (countable and uncountable, plural unctions)

  1. A salve or ointment.
    • 1682, John Dryden, "Mac Flecknoe":
      The king himself the sacred unction made, / As king by office, and as priest by trade.
  2. A religious or ceremonial anointing.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 6”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      To be heir, and to be king / By sacred unction, thy deserved right.
  3. A balm or something that soothes.
  4. A quality in language, address or delivery which expresses sober and fervent emotion.
    • 1853, Charles Dickens, Bleak House, ch 11:
      Krook almost smacks his lips with the unction of a horrible interest.
  5. A smug, exaggerated use of language; smarminess.
  6. Divine or sanctifying grace.

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