Unction is a specially-prepared substance meant to bless or heal — the use of special oils in a religious ceremony or the medicine you might put on your chest if you are congested.

Unction refers to a religious leader placing special oils, usually on the forehead, of people during a ceremony of healing or blessing. Another meaning of unction describes people who are very pleased with their own good works, maybe even bragging about all the people they help at the homeless shelter or soup kitchen. This kind of unction is also called oily, almost like these smug people are oozing self-centeredness.

Primary Meanings of unction

anointing as part of a religious ceremony or healing ritual
excessive but superficial compliments given with affected charm
Full Definitions of unction

n anointing as part of a religious ceremony or healing ritual

Type of:
anointing, anointment
the act of applying oil or an oily liquid
religious ceremony, religious ritual
a ceremony having religious meaning

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

balm, ointment, salve, unguent
show 11 types...
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an ointment used in treating bruises
baby oil
an ointment for babies
an ointment containing a fragrant resin
carron oil
an ointment formerly used to treat burns
a hard medicated paste made of lard or oil mixed with wax or resin
chrism, chrisom, holy oil, sacramental oil
a consecrated ointment consisting of a mixture of oil and balsam
lip balm
a balm applied to the lips
mentholated salve
a salve containing menthol
mercurial ointment
an ointment containing mercury
zinc ointment
an ointment containing zinc that is used to treat certain skin diseases
camphor ice
a cerate made of camphor and wax and spermaceti and castor oil
Type of:
curative, cure, remedy, therapeutic
a medicine or therapy that cures disease or relieve pain

n excessive but superficial compliments given with affected charm

fulsomeness, smarm
Type of:
a remark (or act) expressing praise and admiration

n smug self-serving earnestness

fulsomeness, oiliness, oleaginousness, smarminess, unctuousness
Type of:
insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have

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