baptism

noun
bap·​tism | \ ˈbap-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce baptism (audio) , especially Southern ˈbab-\

Definition of baptism

1a : a Christian sacrament marked by ritual use of water and admitting the recipient to the Christian community
b : a non-Christian rite using water for ritual purification
c Christian Science : purification by or submergence in Spirit
2 : an act, experience, or ordeal by which one is purified, sanctified, initiated, or named

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Other Words from baptism

baptismal \ bap-​ˈtiz-​məl How to pronounce baptismal (audio) , especially Southern  bab-​ \ adjective
baptismally \ bap-​ˈtiz-​mə-​lē How to pronounce baptismally (audio) \ adverb

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.

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 on the Web

His other cameos since then have been through official portraits, like those released from his baptism and on his grandfather Prince Charles' 70th birthday. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis Steal the Show in the Royal Family Christmas Card," 14 Dec. 2018 The Chapel Royal was also where Meghan had her own baptism earlier this year. Erin Hill, PEOPLE.com, "See the Royal Family of 5! Will, Kate, George and Charlotte Arrive at Prince Louis' Christening," 9 July 2018 Some Protestant faith traditions also hold large baptism services on Holy Saturday. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "What Is Holy Saturday, the Day Before Easter, and Why Do We Celebrate It?," 1 Mar. 2019 And of course, there's a precious photograph of Charles and Princess Diana holding Prince William during his 1982 baptism. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Charles Releases Never-Before-Seen Photo with Prince George at His Christening," 13 Nov. 2018 Among the oldest is a handwritten baptism record from 1860 for Maier’s great-grandmother on her father’s side, Elise Maria Hauser. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, "Genealogical investigation uncovers 10 heirs of famed Chicago street photographer Vivian Maier," 26 June 2018 Religious officials bless the holy water before it is splashed onto the crowds in honor of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. Courtney Pedroza, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s Ethiopian community celebrates Epiphany," 25 Jan. 2018 In 2007, Pope Benedict quietly abolished the concept of Limbo, the otherworldly destination of babies who die before their baptism. Scott G. Bruce, WSJ, "Do We Still Need to Believe in Hell?," 13 Sep. 2018 Whether Sabrina Spellman is lost in the woods, or taking part of her magical baptism, these images are sure to send a shiver down your spine. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "Here's Your First Official Look at Kiernan Shipka in "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina"," 13 Aug. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of baptism

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for baptism

Middle English baptisme

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Statistics for baptism

Last Updated

22 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for baptism

The first known use of baptism was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for baptism

baptism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of baptism

: 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

noun
bap·​tism | \ ˈbap-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce baptism (audio) \

Kids Definition of baptism

: the act or ceremony of baptizing

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