\ 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 anointment (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 Barnes did not anoint either Hooker or Proctor as the starting successor to Fuller. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "In Ohio State football’s safety competition, Marcus Hooker and Josh Proctor meet at career crossroads," 15 Oct. 2020 That resistance to anoint a leader, a tactic to minimize repression, has now also weakened Hirak. Adam Nossiter, New York Times, "Hopes Fade for New Political Course in Algeria a Year After Popular Uprising," 4 Oct. 2020 As encouraging as Eason looked, the Colts aren’t going to anoint him just yet. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Colts quietly encouraged by rookie quarterback Jacob Eason's progress," 11 Sep. 2020 Monday, Donald Trump tossed an unprecedented batch of authoritarian spaghetti against the wall, in an attempt to anoint himself king of America. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Memo to self-aggrandizement; America’s leadership not for sale; Whose responsibility, more or less? (4/16/20)," 16 Apr. 2020 In Mark’s gospel, when women come to the tomb to anoint Jesus’s dead body, a young man dressed in a white robe—presumably an angel—appears to them and points to absence: to nothing but a heap of empty grave clothes. Longreads, "On Vanishing," 14 Apr. 2020 So think it’s a little quick to anoint it the best in Denver since 2015. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Lunch Special: Will the Broncos look for a replacement for Garett Bolles? How about Trent Williams?," 30 Mar. 2020 Many, and not only Never Trumpers, would be relieved if the president dropped out of the race and declined to anoint a successor. WSJ, "Here’s an Election Exit Ramp for Mr. Trump," 7 July 2020 His national security team knew the Chinese Communist Party was getting ready to anoint a new leader. Michael Crowley, New York Times, "‘Strategic Empathy’: How Biden’s Informal Diplomacy Shaped Foreign Relations," 6 July 2020

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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Statistics for anoint

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anoint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for anoint


How to pronounce anoint (audio)

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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