• synonyms


[bap-tahyz, bap-tahyz]
verb (used with object), bap·tized, bap·tiz·ing.
  1. to immerse in water or sprinkle or pour water on in the Christian rite of baptism: They baptized the new baby.
  2. to cleanse spiritually; initiate or dedicate by purifying.
  3. to give a name to at baptism; christen.
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verb (used without object), bap·tized, bap·tiz·ing.
  1. to administer baptism.
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Also especially British, bap·tise.

Origin of baptize

1250–1300; Middle English < Late Latin baptizāre < Greek baptízein to immerse (bápt(ein) to bathe + -izein -ize)
Related formsbap·tiz·a·ble, adjectivebap·tize·ment, nounbap·tiz·er, nounre·bap·tize, verb, re·bap·tized, re·bap·tiz·ing.self-bap·tiz·er, nounun·bap·tized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for baptise



  1. Christianity to immerse (a person) in water or sprinkle water on (a person) as part of the rite of baptism
  2. (tr) to give a name to; christen
  3. (tr) to cleanse; purify
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Word Origin for baptize

C13: from Late Latin baptīzāre, from Greek baptizein, from baptein to bathe, dip
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

Word Origin and History for baptise


chiefly British English spelling of baptize; for spelling, see -ize. Related: Baptised; baptising.

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c.1300, from Old French batisier (11c.), from Latin baptizare, from Greek baptizein "to immerse, to dip in water," also used figuratively, e.g. "to be over one's head" (in debt, etc.), "to be soaked (in wine);" in Greek Christian usage, "baptize;" from baptein "to dip, steep, dye, color," from PIE root *gwabh- "to dip, sink." Christian baptism originally consisted in full immersion. Related: Baptized; baptizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper