baptism of fire

noun phrase

variants or chiefly US baptism by fire
: an introductory or initial experience that is a severe ordeal
especially : a soldier's first exposure to enemy fire
: 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)

Examples of baptism of fire in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web More than that, a baptism of fire gave Foley the confidence to go forward with his new passion. Bryan Hendricks, Arkansas Online, 30 July 2023 The Bradley vehicles recently saw a brutal baptism of fire in Ukrainian service assaulting a Russian minefield. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 5 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'baptism of fire.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of baptism of fire was in 1625


Dictionary Entries Near baptism of fire

Cite this Entry

“Baptism of fire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

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