\ ə-ˈnȯint How to pronounce anoint (audio) \
anointed; anointing; anoints

Definition of anoint

transitive verb

1 : to smear or rub with oil or an oily substance
2a : to apply oil to as part of a religious ceremony The priest anointed the sick.
b : to choose by or as if by divine election anoint him as his successor also : to designate as if by a ritual anointment Critics have anointed her as an important new literary figure.

Other Words from anoint

anointer noun
anointment \ ə-​ˈnȯint-​mənt How to pronounce anoint (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for anoint


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Examples of anoint in a Sentence

The magazine anointed her the most popular actress of the year. anoint the wound with antiseptic to prevent infection
Recent Examples on the Web When Frieze alights in Seoul this month for the first time, the hip international art fair’s imprimatur will officially anoint the buzzy Asian city as the next great global art center. Julie Belcove, Robb Report, 21 Aug. 2022 Still, manager Bud Black has retained enough faith in Davis to anoint him the 2020 closer. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, 11 Mar. 2020 This summer has been a case in point: Bayern Munich has managed to alienate the almost-34-year-old Robert Lewandowski by (unsuccessfully) trying to anoint Erling Haaland, a decade his junior, as his heir. New York Times, 14 July 2022 Some have opted to anoint him as the father of logic, the father of rhetoric, the father of realism, etc., and acknowledge his influence in a wide variety of domains and disciplines. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Klitschko's athletic history and dedication to protecting his people prompted ESPN to anoint him the 2022 Arthur Ashe Courage Award winner, the company announced Tuesday. Lance Pugmire, USA TODAY, 14 June 2022 The Moscow Patriarchate has sought to anoint itself the true seat of Orthodoxy ever since Constantinople, now Istanbul, fell to Islamic invaders in 1453. New York Times, 18 Apr. 2022 That elite defensive performance has led Las Vegas odds-makers to anoint Georgia a 21.5-point favorite versus the first Kentucky team to win its first six games of the season since 1950. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, 15 Oct. 2021 Burmese people also believe that washing their hair with tayaw kinbun will get rid of bad luck and anoint them with dignified blessings. Jada Jackson, Allure, 5 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anoint.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of anoint

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anoint

Middle English, from Anglo-French enoint, past participle of enoindre, from Latin inunguere, from in- + unguere to smear — more at ointment

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Time Traveler for anoint

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The first known use of anoint was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near anoint



anointing of the sick

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Anoint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for anoint


\ ə-ˈnȯint How to pronounce anoint (audio) \
anointed; anointing

Kids Definition of anoint

1 : to rub or cover with oil or grease
2 : to put oil on as part of a religious ceremony

More from Merriam-Webster on anoint

Nglish: Translation of anoint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anoint for Arabic Speakers

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