One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In India: any of various ceremonies involving a ritual washing or anointing.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. From Sanskrit abhiṣeka (also with vernacular pronunciation abhiṣek) act of consecrating by sprinkling water, inauguration and anointing of a king, religious washing, ritual washing of a sacred image, verbal noun of abhiṣic- to sprinkle on, to consecrate, anoint from abhi- upon + sic- to sprinkle.
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