One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The rubbing of ointment or oil into the skin.
- ‘Ethyl linoleate was applied dropwise, after which it was spread by inunction to the donor site.’
- ‘Apply to the affected areas 2 to 3 times daily by gentle inunction.’
- ‘Cod-liver Oil may also be used by inunction, in the foregoing disorders, but it is best administered internally, and in the following diseases, viz.’
- ‘Treatment can be administered by injection, by inunction and by the oral route.’
- ‘Inhalation enables the oils to pass into the bloodstream via the lungs, and inunction through the skin.’
Late 15th century: from Latin inunctio(n-), from inunguere ‘smear on’.
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