bap·​tize | \ bap-ˈtīz How to pronounce baptize (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

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 He was baptized in February of 1961 as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Hartford Courant,, "Carl John Olson," 24 June 2018 The latter-day Coleridge also contributed to the Big Read, recording in Ottery St. Mary, the church where his ancestor was baptized. Mary Norris, The New Yorker, "The Epic Poem You Need for Quarantine," 15 May 2020 Poroneics and mylings are believed to be what happens when a baby dies before it is baptized in the Christian faith. Time, "The Witcher Borrows Heavily From European Folklore. Here Are the Myths That Inspired the Netflix Show's Monsters," 20 Dec. 2019 Cassidy recalls with a shudder shooting one scene in which Huisman's character baptizes followers in a lake. Clark Collis,, "Game of Thrones star Michiel Huisman is a cult leader in The Other Lamb clip," 3 Apr. 2020 Many of those who got baptized had been going to Churchome for only a few months. Jennifer Swann, Marie Claire, "Will Worship for Likes," 6 Nov. 2019 In the early 1800s, Spanish soldiers were sent to the area to forcibly recapture a group of Bay Miwok people who had fled a mission after being baptized, according to the Museum of the San Ramon Valley. Bill Van Niekerken,, "Dramatic mountain, dramatic views: Archive photos of Mount Diablo," 18 Mar. 2020 But even while being baptized into the world of auto racing at a young age, Andretti always had a backup plan in mind. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "John Andretti remembered as visionary racer who put family, friends and strangers above all else," 6 Feb. 2020 One of the honors of my life was witnessing Chris get baptized in the Jordan River during a Hall of Fame trip to Israel. NBC News, "Chris Doleman, NFL Hall of Famer, dies at 58," 29 Jan. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about baptize

Time Traveler for baptize

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for baptize

Last Updated

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Baptize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for baptize


How to pronounce baptize (audio)

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 How to pronounce baptize (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on baptize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for baptize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with baptize

Spanish Central: Translation of baptize

Nglish: Translation of baptize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of baptize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on baptize

What made you want to look up baptize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!