\ 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 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 If Purdue wins the primary and then bests Abrams next November, expect Georgia to join the camp of states angling to anoint a Republican president in 2024 no matter what the voters decide. David Faris, The Week, 1 Jan. 2022 Thankfully, on his fifth album, Dawn FM, the Weeknd focuses those interstellar ambitions to anoint us with the most enchanting music to the portal through purgatory. Will Dukes, Rolling Stone, 7 Jan. 2022 One of the great achievements of the American world order, crafted in the wake of World War II, was to anoint democracy as the ultimate form of political organization, the standard by which every country is judged. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 14 Dec. 2021 For the January issue -- the magazine's first global issue -- AD editors from around the world sat down together virtually to anoint the most important architectural leaders and projects of the year. CNN, 30 Nov. 2021 The changes to the nominating process came in response to the 1968 campaign and its upheavals, in particular the move by party leaders to anoint Democratic Vice President Hubert Humphrey despite fierce opposition from Vietnam War opponents. Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2021 The Roys head down to Virginia for the gathering of a Republican thinktank in order to anoint their choice for Republican presidential nominee. Kevin Sullivan, Robb Report, 22 Nov. 2021 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 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.

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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

14 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Anoint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 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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