Definition of baptism
1a : a Christian sacrament marked by ritual use of water and admitting the recipient to the Christian communityb : a non-Christian rite using water for ritual purificationc Christian Science : purification by or submergence in Spirit
2 : an act, experience, or ordeal by which one is purified, sanctified, initiated, or named
baptismalplay \bap-ˈtiz-məl, especially Southern bab-\ adjective
baptismallyplay \-mə-lē\ adverb
Examples of baptism in a Sentence
There were over 100 baptisms at our church last year.
He received the sacrament of baptism as an infant.
Recent Examples of baptism from the Web
The large crowd at his farewell gathering gave testimony to Father Jack's impact on the lives of those present, including performing many baptisms, marriages and visitations to parishioners who are ill.
Some skipped the celebrations or only held perfunctory oaths, but others celebrated with their own altars and military parades, food and drink, dancing, playing cards, even incorporating local baptisms and marriages into the ceremony.
Father Javier, when not in his religious robes and presiding over weddings and baptisms, ran around energetically in athletic fleeces and vests tending to migrant affairs.
It is traditionally celebrated with a head-washing ceremony that honors the priestess who started the tradition, as well as carrying echoes of baptism.
Eight of us anxiously await our cue to plunge in, a baptism of sorts that will transform us from mere mortal women to mermaids with shimmering turquoise tails.
Training breaks a child’s will, and the first kill is a kind of baptism.
Those of us who have lived in town a while, though, know and appreciate restaurants that are true treasures, the ones that many people grew up with, visited for birthdays, anniversaries and baptisms.
When a badly burned baby boy was left at St. Elizabeth’s Orphanage in Saigon, the career military nurse became his godmother, cradling the Vietnamese child for his baptism, according to newspaper accounts.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'baptism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In Christianity, baptism is the sacrament of admission to the church, symbolized by the pouring or sprinkling of water on the head or by immersion in water. The ceremony is usually accompanied by the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” In the doctrine originated by St. Paul, it signifies the wiping away of past sins and the rebirth of the individual into a new life. Judaism practiced ritual purification by immersion, and the Gospels report that John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Baptism was an important ritual in the early church by the first century ce, and infant baptism appeared c. 200 ce. Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and most Protestant churches practice infant baptism. The Anabaptist reformers insisted on adult baptism after a confession of faith; modern Baptists and the Disciples of Christ also practice adult baptism.
Origin and Etymology of baptism
Middle English baptisme
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
BAPTISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of baptism for English Language Learners
: a Christian ceremony in which a small amount of water is placed on a person's head or in which a person's body is briefly placed under water
BAPTISM Defined for Kids
Definition of baptism for Students
: the act or ceremony of baptizing
Learn More about baptism
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up baptism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).