One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Having the quality of cleansing, scouring, or washing away impurities; that purges.
Late Middle English (in an earlier sense). As adjective from Middle French abstersif, adjective (French abstersif; 1314 in Old French) and its etymon post-classical Latin abstersivus from classical Latin absters-, past participial stem of abstergēre + -īvus. As noun partly from Middle French abstersif, noun and partly from post-classical Latin abstersiva, use as noun of neuter plural of abstersivus. Compare Spanish abstersivo, Portuguese abstersivo.
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