baptism of fire

noun phrase
variants: or chiefly U.S. baptism by fire

Definition of baptism of fire 

1 : an introductory or initial experience that is a severe ordeal especially : a soldier's first exposure to enemy fire

2 : a spiritual baptism by a gift of the Holy Spirit often used in allusion to Acts 2:3–4; Matthew 3:11 (Revised Standard Version)

First Known Use of baptism of fire

1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of baptism of fire was in 1625

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to reject or criticize sharply

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