Absolution is a religious concept for purging someone of sin, granting them absolution. The word is used for other kinds of forgiveness too.

When you sin or make a mistake, you usually want absolution — which is like forgiveness. In many religions, if you confess your sins, you can be granted absolution: the sin is forgiven, forgotten, wiped clean. Usually, the sinning person has to do some kind of penance to atone for the sin to achieve absolution. Absolution is a serious concept: if you jaywalked, you probably won't worry about absolution. If you killed somebody, absolution is going to be more important.

Definitions of absolution

n the act of absolving or remitting; formal redemption as pronounced by a priest in the sacrament of penance

remission, remission of sin, remittal
the remission by the pope of the temporal punishment in purgatory that is still due for sins even after absolution
Type of:
redemption, salvation
(theology) the act of delivering from sin or saving from evil

n the condition of being formally forgiven by a priest in the sacrament of penance

Type of:
condition, status
a state at a particular time

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.