From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

The high priest's whole body was washed at his consecration ( Exodus 29:4;  Leviticus 16:4); also on the day of atonement. The priests' hands and feet alone were washed in the daily tabernacle ministrations ( Exodus 30:18-20). So Christians are once for all wholly "bathed" ( Leloumenoi ) in regeneration which is their consecration; and daily wash away their soils of hand and foot contracted in walking through this defiling world ( John 13:10, Greek "he that has been bathed needs not save to wash ( Nipsasthai ) his feet, but is clean all over":  2 Corinthians 7:1;  Hebrews 10:22-23;  Ephesians 5:26). The clothes of him who led away the scape-goat, and of the priest who offered the red heifer, were washed ( Leviticus 16:26;  Numbers 19:7).

The Pharisaic washings of hands before eating, and of the whole body after being in the market ( Mark 7:2-4), turned attention off from the spirit of the law, which aimed at teaching inward purity, to a mere outward purification. In the sultry and dusty East water for the feet was provided for the guests ( Luke 7:44;  Genesis 18:4). The Lord Jesus by washing His disciples' feet taught our need of His cleansing, and His great humility whereby that cleansing was effected (compare  1 Samuel 25:41;  1 Timothy 5:10). The sandals, without stockings, could not keep out dust from the feet; hence washing them was usual before either dining or sleeping ( Song of Solomon 5:3). Again, the usage of thrusting the hand into a common dish rendered cleansing of the hand indispensable before eating. It was only when perverted into a self righteous ritual that our Lord protested against it ( Matthew 15:2;  Luke 11:38).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [2]

1: Βαπτισμός (Strong'S #909 — Noun Masculine — baptismos — bap-tis-mos' )

denotes "the act of washing, ablution," with special reference to purification,  Mark 7:4 (in some texts, ver. 8);   Hebrews 6:2 , "baptisms;"  Hebrews 9:10 , "washings. See Baptism.

2: Λουτρόν (Strong'S #3067 — Noun Neuter — loutron — loo-tron' )

"a bath, a laver" (akin to louo, see above), is used metaphorically of the Word of God, as the instrument of spiritual cleansing,  Ephesians 5:26; in  Titus 3:5 , of "the washing of regeneration" (see Regeneration In the Sept., Song of  Song of Solomon 4:2;  6:6 .

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [3]

Various ceremonial washings were enjoined in the Mosaic law, both upon priests,  Exodus 30:19-21 , and upon others,  Leviticus 12:1;  15:33   Hebrews 9:10 .

These were significant of spiritual purification through the Savior's blood,  Titus 3:5   Revelation 1:5 , as well as of that holiness without which none can see God. To these the Jews added other traditional ablutions,  Mark 7:2-4; and regarded it as an act of impiety to neglect them, as Christ frequently did,  Luke 11:38 . The washing of the hands before and after meals,  Matthew 15:2 , called for by their custom of feeding themselves with their fingers, is still practiced in Syria. See cut in Bed .

Where there is a servant in attendance, he pours water from a pitcher over his master's hands, holding also a broad vessel underneath them,  2 Kings 3:11   Psalm 60:8 . See  Deuteronomy 21:6   Matthew 27:24; and has given rise to the proverbial saying common among us, "I wash my hands of that."

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [4]

In Scripture language the act of washing carries with it an interest in the service for which it is observed. Thus, Jesus washes his disciples' feet. ( John 13:3-12) Hence the apostle speaking of the truly regenerated in Christ saith, "Now ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." ( 1 Corinthians 6:11) And the redeemed in glory, are represented as having "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." ( Revelation 7:14) We are so little acquainted with the customs of the East that it is next to an impossibility to have a full and clear apprehension of the signification of washing as expressed in the Scriptures. It will be enough for all our purposes however to consider in general, that it had in spiritual concerns a blessed intimation in those that were washed of being partakers in the pardoning and sanctifying blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. ( Psalms 51:2;  Acts 22:1-30;  Revelation 1:5)

Morrish Bible Dictionary [5]

A requirement of frequent literal recurrence under the law, but in the N.T. a term bearing commonly a moral force and application. Important truth may be learned from the different significations of the Greek words used for 'washing' in  John 13 . The word in  John 13:10 is λούω, 'to cleanse, wash thoroughly.' One who is cleansed in this sense never needs to be thus washed again; he is, as the Lord said, 'clean every whit,' yet in order to have 'part with' Christ, he needs, because of the defilement of the way, that his feet should be washed (here the word is νίπτω),   John 13:5-14 , an action which is applied to parts of the body only. The same difference was typified in the cleansing of Aaron and his sons. They were at their consecration once 'washed' by Moses, but were thenceforward required continually, when executing their service, to wash only their hands and feet in the laver.   Exodus 40:12,30-32 .

Webster's Dictionary [6]

(1): ( n.) A thin covering or coat; as, a washing of silver.

(2): ( n.) Gold dust procured by washing; also, a place where this is done; a washery.

(3): ( n.) The operation of simultaneously buying and selling the same stock for the purpose of manipulating the market. The transaction is fictitious, and is prohibited by stock-exchange rules.

(4): ( n.) The covering of a piece with an infusible powder, which prevents it from sticking to its supports, while receiving the glaze.

(5): ( n.) The act of one who washes; the act of cleansing with water; ablution.

(6): ( p. pr. & vb. n.) of Wash

(7): ( n.) The clothes washed, esp. at one time; a wash.

King James Dictionary [7]

Washing ppr. Cleansing with water purifying overflowing overspreading.


1. The act of cleansing with water ablution.  Hebrews 9 . 2. A wash or the clothes washed.

Holman Bible Dictionary [8]


Easton's Bible Dictionary [9]

 Mark 7:1-9Ablution

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [10]

See Laver, Purification.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [11]