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

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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 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 But evangelicals also control an area where drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and pornography are prohibited, and visiting pastors baptize converts in plastic kiddie pools. Alex Cuadros, Harper's magazine, "“My Gang Is Jesus”," 20 Jan. 2020 To everybody’s surprise, the Vatican [sanctioned] his sacraments because people didn’t know whether they were married, whether their children were baptized, etc. Gregory Ellwood, Los Angeles Times, "Scammers or spiritually motivated, fake priests figure in Poland’s ‘Corpus Christi’," 1 Jan. 2020 Victoria and David Beckham celebrated two of their children getting baptized this weekend. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Victoria and David Beckham Celebrate Cruz and Harper's Baptism with Some PDA," 22 Dec. 2019 Then, after a quick church scene where the baby baptized, the season ends with a portrait session. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "A Quick Recap of The Crown Season 2 Before the Show Returns to Netflix," 14 Nov. 2019 There are tales of Lord Stanley’s trophy spending time in topless bars, children being baptized in the cup and dogs eating out of it. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Boat racers take aim at trophy with a tale," 13 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for baptize

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for baptize

Last Updated

25 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Baptize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2020.

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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

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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

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