noun \ˈbap-ˌti-zəm, especially Southern ˈbab-\

: a Christian ceremony in which a small amount of water is placed on a person's head or in which a person's body is briefly placed under water

Full Definition of BAPTISM

a :  a Christian sacrament marked by ritual use of water and admitting the recipient to the Christian community
b :  a non-Christian rite using water for ritual purification
c Christian Science :  purification by or submergence in Spirit
:  an act, experience, or ordeal by which one is purified, sanctified, initiated, or named
bap·tis·mal \bap-ˈtiz-məl, especially Southern bab-\ adjective
bap·tis·mal·ly \-mə-lē\ adverb

Examples of BAPTISM

  1. There were over 100 baptisms at our church last year.
  2. He received the sacrament of baptism as an infant.

Origin of BAPTISM

Middle English baptisme
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Christian Religious Terms

Pentateuch, blasphemy, curate, doxology, eremite, iconoclasm, liturgy, orison, pneuma, reliquary


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In Christianity, the sacrament of admission to the church, symbolized by the pouring or sprinkling of water on the head or by immersion in water. The ceremony is usually accompanied by the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Indeed, Christians believe that after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and commanded them to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the teaching of St. Paul, it signifies the wiping away of past sins and the rebirth of the individual into a new life. Judaism practiced ritual purification by immersion, and the Gospels report that John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Baptism was an important ritual in the early church by the 1st century, and infant baptism appeared by the 3rd century. Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and most Protestant churches practice infant baptism. The Anabaptist reformers insisted on adult baptism after a confession of faith; modern Baptists and the Disciples of Christ also practice adult baptism.


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