\ ə-ˈnȯint \
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 \-mənt \ noun

Synonyms for anoint


bedaub, besmear, daub, smear

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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 elated townsfolk quickly anoint SpongeBob their savior. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Now on Broadway: SpongeBob ChauvinistPants," 11 July 2018 In 2014, Orlando acquired rookie Elfrid Payton in a draft-night trade and anointed him as their point guard of the future. Josh Robbins,, "Jay Bilas regards Collin Sexton as a better prospect than Trae Young," 21 June 2018 Asian influences extended even more openly to tuna marejada, essentially an uncut sashimi roll of bright red tuna with avocado and cream cheese anointed with soy sauce. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: Villa Rica restores star power of chef Johnny Hernandez," 26 Apr. 2018 Biscuits and gravy are anointed with coconut-mushroom gravy, French toast with coffee anglaise and doughnut glaze, and a fried chicken thigh is mounted on a sourdough waffle. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "At 3 Squares Diner there’s a dog that won’t bark," 12 July 2018 But the GOP Establishment has had a lot of difficulty anointing its ideal candidates in primaries. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Red-State Teachers Just Scored a Victory That Could Transform the GOP," 23 May 2018 Jordan is part of a cohort of wry, emotionally honest female indie rock artists, and has been anointed in some quarters as Phair’s heir apparent. Allison P. Davis, The Cut, "Snail Mail Can Control Her Feelings and Yours, Too," 20 June 2018 And in what was perhaps the most lavish illustration of this predilection, McGrath anointed seven models at Prada with dramatic multihued swoops, further decorated with Swarovski-crystal studs, turning their orbs into dazzling winged victories. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "Why Shocking Neon Makeup Should Be Your Summer Beauty Strategy," 31 May 2018 Twice-daily, too, staffers anoint the outdoor stairs with a protective oil designed to preserve the original hardwood floors. Tara Isabella Burton, WSJ, "A Nile Cruise With Retro-Glamour Appeal," 30 May 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near anoint





anointing of the sick



Statistics for anoint

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for anoint

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

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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 \
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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Comments on anoint

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to make amends

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