\ 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 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 The Tokyo Olympics, which open next month, offer an opportunity to anoint another crop of champions to inspire girls with athletic aspirations. New York Times, 30 June 2021 The posters can be purchased alone or framed and ready to anoint the wall with caffeinated inspiration. Leah Koenig, Forbes, 29 June 2021 Finally inside a room at Franciscan Health Olympia Fields, Simonetti used a cotton ball soaked in holy oil to anoint the unconscious patient. Janice Neumann,, 24 Apr. 2021 Savor your food, make each day a delight, bathe and anoint yourself, wear bright clothes that are sparkling clean, let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds your hand, and give your (spouse) pleasure in your embrace. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, 21 Jan. 2020 Lombardo said the priests participated in more than 1,400 calls to anoint, and only one priest was infected. Janice Neumann,, 24 Apr. 2021 The veteran defensive line coach is not ready to anoint freshman Jack Sawyer as an impact player for 2021. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 10 Apr. 2021 Coach Lincoln Riley waited until 10 days before the season opener with Florida Atlantic to anoint future Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, a truly dominant college quarterback, as the starter ahead of Austin Kendall. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, 8 May 2021 Justin Lombardo, of the archdiocese’s COVID-19 Task Force, said the training covered every part of the ministry, from the time the priests were contacted and asked to anoint a patient through their return to their parishes. Janice Neumann,, 24 Apr. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near anoint



anointing of the sick

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Statistics for anoint

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Anoint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for anoint



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

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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