\ 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.

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Other Words from anoint

anointer noun
anointment \ ə-​ˈnȯint-​mənt How to pronounce anointment (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 The rush to declare a Klobosurge is premature at best, however, as is the impulse to anoint Klobuchar as the true counter to Trump in 2020. Edward Morrissey, TheWeek, "Why moderates should think twice about Klobuchar," 12 Feb. 2020 Sometimes fragrant substances, like myrrh, were used to anoint the body. National Geographic, "Europe's morbid 'mummy craze' has been an obsession for centuries," 10 Dec. 2019 He was anointed Monday unanimously by Republicans in a private caucus, Bosma said. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Fishers Rep. Todd Huston to serve as House speaker after Brian Bosma retires," 2 Dec. 2019 So to be anointed in that way is like getting a blessing from the Pope or being knighted by the Queen. Dalton Ross,, "Walking Dead," 25 Nov. 2019 The story Hours before he is anointed king of Ayodhya by his father, a cruel turn of fate dispossess Ram of his kingdom. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "Ram: The gentle, tragic prince who became the face of aggressive Hindu nationalism," 9 Nov. 2019 The strike fighter, the first to be anointed with both Fighter and Attack designations, flew for nearly four decades before being replaced by its bigger brother, the Super Hornet. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy Flies Its Last F/A-18 Hornet," 7 Oct. 2019 He was recently anointed the best high school basketball prospect since LeBron James. Jeremy Woo,, "High School Basketball Phenom Emoni Bates Already Has the NBA Buzzing," 12 Aug. 2019 Ellis said Monday, which means that the trustees could anoint Brittany Bowlen controlling owner sooner than later if the family supports the move, which is a huge if. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos ownership: Even after Brittany Bowlen’s return to team, selling remains option," 30 Dec. 2019

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anoint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce anoint (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of anoint

: to put oil on (someone) as part of a religious ceremony
: to officially or formally choose (someone) to do or to be something


\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on anoint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for anoint

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with anoint

Spanish Central: Translation of anoint

Nglish: Translation of anoint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anoint for Arabic Speakers

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