bap·​tize | \ bap-ˈtīz, 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

Alexander was born in London, baptized at Westminster Abbey, and then raised in exile in the United Kingdom. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Everything to Know About Queen Elizabeth's 30 Godchildren," 9 Sep. 2018 Flown in from hundreds of miles away, the water holds religious significance as its comes from the site where Christians believe Saint John baptized Jesus. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The Royal Family Flew in Special Water for Prince Louis's Christening Today," 10 July 2018 He will be baptized by The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Metro reported. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Prince Louis to be christened; godparents announced," 9 July 2018 Meghan grew up as an Episcopalian, which has some similarities to the church of England, but she was baptized and confirmed into the Church of England in March. Sophie Dodd,, "100 Questions About the Royal Wedding Answered!," 7 May 2018 The live chicks, meanwhile, tripled in size and were baptized by Father Sean, the priest who comes by on Thursdays. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "Chicken and Egg Rentals Crack Open Life’s Deepest Questions," 4 Dec. 2018 The water for the baptism comes from the Jordan River, where John the Baptist baptized Jesus, the BBC reported. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Prince Louis christening date announced," 20 June 2018 Warnock is the fifth senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist, the church where King’s father, the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., and King both served and where King was baptized. Jonathan M. Pitts,, "Pastor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s former church to lead commemorative interfaith service in Baltimore," 11 Apr. 2018 Ogah was heralded a hero by the Italian press, and on Saturday was one of eight people baptized by the Pope at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Sheena Mckenzie And Daniel Nikbakht, CNN, "Pope Francis in Easter service baptizes migrant hailed as a hero," 1 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for baptize

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

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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, 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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More from Merriam-Webster on baptize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with baptize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for baptize

Spanish Central: Translation of baptize

Nglish: Translation of baptize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of baptize for Arabic Speakers

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