Unc"tion (?), n. [OE. unccioun, uncioun, OF. oncion, onction, F. onction, fr. L. unctio, fr. ungere, unctum, to anoint. See Unguent.]


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.

To be heir, and to be king By sacred unction, thy deserved right. Milton.


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

The king himself the sacred unction made. Dryden.

Lay not that flattering unction to your soul. Shak.


Divine or sanctifying grace.



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.

The delightful equivoque and unction of the passage in Farquhar. Hazlitt.

The mention of thy glory Is unction to the breast. Neale (Rhythm of St. Bernard).

Extreme unction R. C. Ch. & Gr. Ch., the sacrament of anointing in the last hours; the application of consecrated oil by a priest to all the senses, that is, to eyes, ears, nostrils, etc., of a person when in danger of death from illness, -- done for remission of sins. [James v. 14, 15.]


© Webster 1913.

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