What does unction mean?

Definitions for unction
ˈʌŋk ʃənunc·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word unction.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. unction, smarm, fulsomenessnoun

    excessive but superficial compliments given with affected charm

  2. fulsomeness, oiliness, oleaginousness, smarminess, unctuousness, unctionnoun

    smug self-serving earnestness

  3. ointment, unction, unguent, balm, salvenoun

    semisolid preparation (usually containing a medicine) applied externally as a remedy or for soothing an irritation

  4. unction, inunctionnoun

    anointing as part of a religious ceremony or healing ritual


  1. unctionnoun

    a salve or ointment

  2. unctionnoun

    a religious or ceremonial anointing

  3. unctionnoun

    a balm or something that soothes

  4. unctionnoun

    a smug, exaggerated use of language; smarminess

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Unctionnoun

    Etymology: unction, Fr.

    The unction of the tabernacle, the table, the laver, the altar of God, with all the instruments appertaining thereunto, made them for ever holy. Richard Hooker, b. v. s. 20.

    The king himself the sacred unction made;
    As king by office, and as priest by trade. Dryden.

    Such as are of hot constitutions, should use bathing in hot water, rather than unctions. John Arbuthnot, on Aliments.

    Lay not that flattering unction to your soul,
    That not your trespass, but my madness speaks. William Shakespeare.

    Their extreme unction, administered as the dying man’s viaticum, which St. James mentioned as the ceremony of his recovery, may be added. Henry Hammond, Fundamentals.


  1. unction

    Anointing is the ritual act of pouring aromatic oil over a person's head or entire body.By extension, the term is also applied to related acts of sprinkling, dousing, or smearing a person or object with any perfumed oil, milk, butter, or other fat. Scented oils are used as perfumes and sharing them is an act of hospitality. Their use to introduce a divine influence or presence is recorded from the earliest times; anointing was thus used as a form of medicine, thought to rid persons and things of dangerous spirits and demons which were believed to cause disease. In present usage, "anointing" is typically used for ceremonial blessings such as the coronation of European monarchs. This continues an earlier Hebrew practice most famously observed in the anointings of Aaron as high priest and both Saul and David by the prophet Samuel. The concept is important to the figure of the Messiah or the Christ (Hebrew and Greek for "The Anointed One") who appear prominently in Jewish and Christian theology and eschatology. Anointing—particularly the anointing of the sick—may also be known as unction; the anointing of the dying as part of last rites in the Catholic church is sometimes specified as "extreme unction".

Webster Dictionary

  1. Unctionnoun

    the act of anointing, smearing, or rubbing with an unguent, oil, or ointment, especially for medical purposes, or as a symbol of consecration; as, mercurial unction

  2. Unctionnoun

    that which is used for anointing; an unguent; an ointment; hence, anything soothing or lenitive

  3. Unctionnoun

    divine or sanctifying grace

  4. Unctionnoun

    that quality in language, address, or the like, which excites emotion; especially, strong devotion; religious fervor and tenderness; sometimes, a simulated, factitious, or unnatural fervor

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Unction

    ungk′shun, n. an anointing: that which is used for anointing: ointment: that quality in language which raises emotion or devotion: warmth of address: divine or sanctifying grace.—n. Unctūos′ity, state or quality of being unctuous: oiliness: greasiness.—adj. Unc′tūous, oily: greasy.—adv. Unc′tūously.—n. Unc′tūousness, unctuosity.—Extreme unction (R.C. Church), the sacrament of anointing persons with consecrated oil in their last hours. [L. unctiounguĕre, unctum, to anoint.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of unction in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of unction in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of unction in a Sentence

  1. Hazlitt:

    The most silent people are generally those who think most highly of themselves. They fancy themselves superior to every one else, and, not being sure of making good their secret pretensions, decline entering the lists altogether. Thus they ?lay the flattering unction to their souls? that they could have said better things than others, or that the conversation was beneath them.

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Translations for unction

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"unction." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/unction>.

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    denote or connote
    • A. fudge
    • B. signify
    • C. interrupt
    • D. jeopardize

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