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

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 That strict policy continued: The church would not baptize any Egyptian, whether Muslim or Christian. The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 July 2022 Janak reassured him that God recognized the family’s intention to baptize the boy. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, 29 May 2022 Karen and Michael Hidde watched the flight nurse baptize their baby, sprinkling water on him from a small shell. Mark Johnson,, 29 Apr. 2022 Only priests could baptize, ordain, perform the sacrament of the Eucharist and give last rites. Lisa Bitel, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Mar. 2022 Fans are dissecting the hallucination—which saw Nate impregnate Cassie and then watch as a pool-side Cal Jacobs, his father, proceeded to erotically baptize her. Josh St. Clair, Men's Health, 19 Jan. 2022 James reacted by putting his fingers in Max’s water and splashing him as if to baptize him into James’s unique religion of belligerent assholery. Brian Moylan, Vulture, 30 Sep. 2021 The woman said Hogan swam over to her and offered to baptize her children. al, 28 July 2021 The woman said Hogan swam over to her and offered to baptize her children. al, 28 July 2021 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

18 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Baptize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for baptize


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

More from Merriam-Webster on baptize

Nglish: Translation of baptize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of baptize for Arabic Speakers


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