\ 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 \ -​mənt How to pronounce anointment (audio) \ 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

He was anointed a five-star recruit and rated the fifth-best player in the nation by 247Sports, sixth-best by ESPN. Jayda Evans, The Seattle Times, "‘He’s the future of basketball’: Federal Way’s Jaden McDaniels has become one of the best in nation," 20 Feb. 2019 Da Silva has portrayed himself as a political prisoner and has resisted pressure from some in the party to anoint a successor who can be on the ballot. Ernesto Londoño,, "Judge orders Brazil to release ex-president," 8 July 2018 But if this week’s talks progress, Mr. Liu himself is expected to follow up with a trip to Washington to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, anointed by Mr. Trump as the lead negotiator with China. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "U.S. Pushes China to Follow Through on Trade Promises," 7 Jan. 2019 The film is a largely cinema verité study of a pressure cooker world flush with ultra-rich buyers, high-on-the-hog middlemen, and artists anointed with the Midas touch. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "The Price of Everything,," 18 Oct. 2018 Brown still needs to develop that trust before he’s anointed the starter. Jeff Zrebiec,, "Ravens news, notes and opinions on right tackle competition, Crockett Gillmore, next week's OTAs," 15 May 2018 In anointing a new movement of the moment, has all of this organizing and leadership disappeared down the memory hole? Harper's BAZAAR, "Signs For Hope," 16 Aug. 2018 Smith, an eighth-grade dropout who went to work at 15 to support his widowed mother, was deemed by most a coarse ward heeler beholden to the Tammany Hall satraps who anointed him. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘Frank and Al’ Review: A Friendship Forged in Albany," 25 Sep. 2018 The state committee members would gather in a Harlem church to officially anoint her — and to mark their independence from Mr. Cuomo’s political bullying. Vivian Wang, New York Times, "Nixon Tops Working Families Ticket, but Party Remains at ‘Crossroads’," 19 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

31 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for anoint

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with anoint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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