\ 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 Under other circumstances, this night still would have been a career-shifting set for Toliver — a huge crowd primed to anoint him as an inheritor of Houston trap, and rocket him into superstardom on his own right. Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2021 In Harvard Square, Grendel’s Den (89 Winthrop St.) hosts a Halloween disco lip sync battle with Mistress of Ceremonies Raven Lunatic, who will anoint prizes for best crooner and best dressed., 28 Oct. 2021 No question, and that, almost as much as Nagy’s reticence to publicly anoint Fields, created more public angst. Brad Biggs,, 11 Oct. 2021 Several playoff contenders could do worse than anoint him their No. 2 starter. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 30 July 2021 Kyle Shanahan isn’t ready to anoint the division supreme. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Sep. 2021 The 49ers, who will anoint Trey Lance at quarterback sooner or later, are having their depth strained before the season’s start but have talent, including George Kittle, who made the fraternity of tight ends a bit more official this off-season. Brett Knight, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 Hopefully the tennis world, always far too hungry to anoint the next big superstar, can just sit back and enjoy what’s going to happen here Saturday without the temptation to treat it as anything more. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2021 The disparity was enough for some to quickly anoint Dart over his counterpart. Los Angeles Times, 12 Aug. 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

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Anoint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 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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