bap·​tize | \ bap-ˈtīz How to pronounce baptize (audio) , ˈbap-ˌtīz, especially Southern bab-ˈtīz or ˈbab-ˌtīz \
variants: or less commonly baptise
baptized also baptised; baptizing also baptising

Definition of baptize

transitive verb

1 religion : to administer baptism (see baptism sense 1) to baptize a child in the Episcopal Church was baptized a Catholic as an infant
2a : to purify or cleanse spiritually especially by a purging (see purge entry 1 sense 1) experience or ordeal baptized with pain and rapture, tears and fire …— Sidney Lanier
b : initiate Both developments were baptized under last season's conditions of scanty snow …New York Times
3 : to give a name to (as at baptism) : christen Theybaptized their son "John" after the baby's grandfather.

intransitive verb

: to administer baptism

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Other Words from baptize

baptizer noun

Examples of baptize in a Sentence

The priest baptized the baby. She was baptized at the age of 20.
Recent Examples on the Web The Spanish and Portuguese, who built their empires on human trafficking, were among the earliest Europeans to enslave and baptize Africans. Erica Armstrong Dunbar, The New York Review of Books, "A Praise House of Many Mansions," 13 Apr. 2021 Nowadays, around 40% of parents choose to baptize their babies every year, closely reflecting the number of members. Anna Stjernquist, The Christian Science Monitor, "In Sweden, pandemic inspires new generation to return to church," 22 Dec. 2020 The Russians set up an observation post next to the monastery, where Armenians had flocked to bid farewell and baptize their babies. Anton Troianovski, New York Times, "Layers of Tragedy, in a Cemetery and in the Mountains," 18 Nov. 2020 Nothing much, outside of LouCity being able to baptize Lynn Family Stadium, its brand new home, with playoff energy. Jonathan Saxon, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville City FC feeling postseason surge heading into conference semifinals," 15 Oct. 2020 Triple the milk — in honor of God, his son and the holy spirit — and baptize the cake after it’s baked, and tres leches is born. Washington Post, "Tres Leches Cake," 28 Sep. 2020 Foxx broke up the seriousness around the scene by pretending to baptize Baker in between scenes. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Machine Gun Kelly is on fire in 'Project Power,' but girlfriend Megan Fox can't watch role," 15 Aug. 2020 He was baptized in February of 1961 as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Hartford Courant,, "Carl John Olson," 24 June 2018 The latter-day Coleridge also contributed to the Big Read, recording in Ottery St. Mary, the church where his ancestor was baptized. Mary Norris, The New Yorker, "The Epic Poem You Need for Quarantine," 15 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'baptize.' 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 baptize

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for baptize

Middle English, from Anglo-French baptiser, from Late Latin baptizare, from Greek baptizein to dip, baptize, from baptein to dip, dye; akin to Old Norse kvefja to quench

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Time Traveler for baptize

Time Traveler

The first known use of baptize was in the 13th century

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Statistics for baptize

Last Updated

25 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Baptize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for baptize



English Language Learners Definition of baptize

: to perform the ceremony of baptism for (someone)
: to officially make someone a member of a specified Christian church through the ceremony of baptism
: to give (someone) a name through the ceremony of baptism


bap·​tize | \ bap-ˈtīz How to pronounce baptize (audio) , ˈbap-ˌtīz \
baptized; baptizing

Kids Definition of baptize

1 : to dip in water or sprinkle water on as a part of the ceremony of receiving into the Christian church
2 : to give a name to as in the ceremony of baptism : christen

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