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[kris-uh n] /ˈkrɪs ən/
verb (used with object)
to receive into the Christian church by baptism; baptize.
to give a name to at baptism:
They christened her Mary.
to name and dedicate:
to christen a ship.
to make use of for the first time.
Origin of christen
before 900; Middle English cristenen, Old English cristnian, derivative of cristen Christian
Related forms
christener, noun
rechristen, verb (used with object)
unchristened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for christen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Strange what names folks 'll christen onto children, ain't it?

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • At the priest's orders they rushed forward to christen it; it was all they were good for.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • I did stop yer honours, and we did christen that baby, both inside and out.

    Australia Revenged Boomerang
  • "I'll christen my colt Wyck," said Hil, as they turned in for the night.

    Australia Revenged Boomerang
  • I mind the time well, for I was called to christen the babe.

    Kilgorman Talbot Baines Reed
  • Then did he christen the lady Margaret's seven little wee sons.

    Stories from the Ballads Mary MacGregor
British Dictionary definitions for christen


verb (transitive)
to give a Christian name to in baptism as a sign of incorporation into a Christian Church
another word for baptize
to give a name to (anything), esp with some ceremony
(informal) to use for the first time
Derived Forms
christener, noun
Word Origin
Old English cristnian, from CrīstChrist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for christen

c.1200, from Old English cristnian "to baptize," literally "to make Christian," from cristen "Christian" (see Christian). General meaning of "to name" is attested from mid-15c. Related: Christened; christening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for christen



To use for the first time: let's christen the new bed (1990+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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