1. An absolving, or setting free from guilt, sin, or penalty; forgiveness of an offense. "Government . . . Granting absolution to the nation."

2. An acquittal, or sentence of a judge declaring and accused person innocent.

3. The exercise of priestly jurisdiction in the sacrament of penance, by which Catholics believe the sins of the truly penitent are forgiven.

In the English and other Protestant churches, this act regarded as simply declaratory, not as imparting forgiveness.

4. An absolving from ecclesiastical penalties, for example, excommunication.

5. The form of words by which a penitent is absolved.

6. Delivery, in speech. Absolution day, Tuesday before Easter.

Origin: F. Absolution, L. Absolutio, fr. Absolvere to absolve. See Absolve.

(01 Mar 1998)

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