chris·​ten | \ ˈkri-sᵊn How to pronounce christen (audio) \
christened; christening\ ˈkris-​niŋ How to pronounce christen (audio) , ˈkri-​sə-​niŋ \

Definition of christen

transitive verb

1a : baptize sense 1 was christened when he was three months old
b : to name at baptism They christened the baby Anne.
2 : to name or dedicate (something, such as a ship) by a ceremony that often involves breaking a bottle of champagne
3 : name sense 1 The newspaper christened her as the reigning Queen of Tennis.
4 : to use for the first time They christened the new ballpark with a win.

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of christen in a Sentence

He was christened when he was three months old. They christened the baby Anna. The politician was chosen to christen a new ship. The newspaper has christened her as the reigning Queen of Tennis. They christened the new ball park with a win.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The air and water temperature were in the low 40s — not too bad for those who wanted to christen 2021 with a quick dip into the cold ocean. Sofia Saric,, "Even a pandemic couldn’t stop New Year’s Day traditions in Boston," 1 Jan. 2021 If Jefferson needed a Jesus who could fit the imperatives of republicanism and westward expansion, Teddy Roosevelt—later to become Jefferson’s neighbor on Mt. Rushmore—needed to christen a budding empire. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "What Thomas Jefferson Could Never Understand About Jesus," 28 Dec. 2020 So, like today, early Anchorage residents complained when the government acted, as with the impersonal rejection of the people’s choice to christen the town as Alaska City. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "Mud, fires and bootlegging: What daily life looked like in the early years of Anchorage," 9 Nov. 2020 Future First Lady Jill Biden has also visited Alabama, including a trip to christen the USS Gabrielle Giffords in Mobile in 2015. al, "‘A hurricane called Joe’: Biden’s 1986 Alabama visit and conflict with Jeff Sessions," 8 Nov. 2020 Their 2009 World Series was a standalone title that was fueled, in large part, by the desire to christen the new ballpark in the Bronx that season. Kristie Ackert,, "20 years after the dynasty fell, Yankees have an offseason full of decisions," 26 Oct. 2020 The Rams and Chargers are set to christen Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium, which may instantly become the league's flagship building. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "20 things to watch heading into the 2020 NFL season," 13 Sep. 2020 Carr recalled Monday night after guiding the Raiders to a 34-24 upset win against the New Orleans Saints to christen the franchise’s new digs, Allegiant Stadium. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Derek Carr, Raiders have found home together in Las Vegas," 23 Sep. 2020 Michigan and Detroit dignitaries gathered Monday to christen a freeway in her honor. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Aretha Franklin Memorial Highway dedicated by Whitmer, Duggan in event at Lodge Freeway," 24 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'christen.' 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 christen

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for christen

Middle English cristnen, from Old English cristnian, from cristen Christian, from Latin christianus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about christen

Time Traveler for christen

Time Traveler

The first known use of christen was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for christen

Last Updated

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Christen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for christen


How to pronounce christen (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of christen

: to baptize (someone)
: to name (someone) at baptism
: to officially give (something, such as a ship) a name in a ceremony that often involves breaking a bottle of champagne


chris·​ten | \ ˈkri-sᵊn How to pronounce christen (audio) \
christened; christening

Kids Definition of christen

2 : to name at baptism The parents christened the baby Robin.
3 : name entry 2 sense 1 … it would be a long time before they forgot the giant, three-headed dog he'd christened “Fluffy.”— J. K. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets
4 : to name or dedicate (as a ship) in a ceremony

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on christen

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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