(Latin, derived from lavare, "to wash")

A labrum was a water-filled basin, originally used in farming (usually to press grapes in), but more commonly known for its use in Roman baths, where a labrum filled with cold water was placed, so that visitors to the calidarium might sprinkle themselves with cold water if they got too hot.

In Christian times, the labrum was also used for a washing ritual, symbolically cleansing the celebrant. This function is reflected in the vessel filled with holy water placed in Catholic churches to this day, and to a lesser degree by the baptismal font in all Christian denominations using water in their rituals.

This is also the name of the anatomical structure made of connective tissue surrounding the ball and socket joint between the humerus and the socket of the collarbone, helping to stabilize it. Players of such sports as baseball and tennis sometimes suffer tears of the labrum (further classified, to be precise, into SLAP tears, Bankart lesions, and posterior labral tears), which are occasionally misreported as "torn labia."

Nope, not the same thing at all, though your word processor likes it owing to The spellchecker affect.

La"brum (?), n.; pl. L. Labra (#), E. Labrums (#). [L.]

1.

A lip or edge, as of a basin.

2. Zool. (a)

An organ in insects and crustaceans covering the upper part of the mouth, and serving as an upper lip. See Illust. of Hymenoptera.

(b)

The external margin of the aperture of a shell. See Univalve.

 

© Webster 1913.

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