- The definition of baptism is a religious ceremony that involves a brief immersion in water or water being sprinkled over the head or forehead as a symbol of washing away sin.
When a member of the clergy sprinkles water on your forehead and says he does this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, that is an example of baptism.
The baptism of a baby.
- a baptizing or being baptized; specif., the ceremony or sacrament of admitting a person into Christianity or a specific Christian church by immersing the individual in water or by pouring or sprinkling water on the individual, as a symbol of washing away sin and of spiritual purification
- any experience or ordeal that initiates, tests, or purifies
Origin of baptismMiddle English and amp; Old French baptesme ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin baptisma, Christian baptism ; from Classical Latin a dipping under ; from Classical Greek ; from baptizein: see baptize
- A religious rite considered a sacrament by most Christian groups, marked by the symbolic application of water to the head or immersion of the body into water and resulting in admission of the recipient into the community of Christians.
- A ceremony in certain religious or nonreligious traditions in which one is initiated, purified, or given a name.
- An initiatory experience, act, or effort: “two brilliant young graduate students whose work for this committee amounted to a baptism in defense policy” (James Carroll).
Origin of baptismMiddle English baptisme, from Old French, from Late Latin baptismus, from Greek baptismos, from baptizein, to baptize; see baptize.
From Old French batesme or bapteme, from Ecclesiastical Latin baptisma, from Ancient Greek βαπτισμός (baptismós, “dipping, baptism”), from βαπτίζω (baptízō, “I dip in liquid”).