- Surgical excision or amputation of a body part or tissue.
- The erosive processes by which a glacier is reduced.
- Aerospace a. The dissipation of heat generated by atmospheric friction, especially in the atmospheric reentry of a spacecraft or missile, by means of a melting heat shield.b. The reduction or removal of heat-protective surface material by aerodynamic friction, as from a heat shield.
Origin of ablationLate Latin ablātiō ablātiōn- from Latin ablātus past participle of auferre to carry away ab- away ; see ab- 1. lātus carried ; see telə- in Indo-European roots.
- (medicine) The surgical removal of a body part, an organ, or especially a tumor; the removal of an organ function; amputation. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
- (sciences) The progressive removal of material by any of a variety of processes such as vaporization under heat or chipping. [Mid 20th century.]
- (geology) The removal of a glacier by melting and evaporation; the lowering of a land surface by any of several means, as in wind erosion, mass wasting. [Mid 20th century.]
From Middle French and Latin ablÄtiÅ (“a taking away"), from ablÄtus (“removed"), the perfect passive participle of auferÅ (“carry away"). Compare French ablation.