• synonyms


[kriz-uh m]
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  1. a consecrated oil, usually mixed with balsam or balsam and spices, used by certainchurches in various rites, as in baptism, confirmation, and the like.
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Also chrisom.

Origin of chrism

before 900; learned respelling of Middle English crisme, Old English crisma < Latin chrīsma < Greek chrîsma unguent, unction
Related formschris·mal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for chrism

Historical Examples

  • Anoint me with the chrism of spontaneity that I may be ever worthy of thee.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • And while the chrism is used they chant, 'See the smell of my son is as the smell of a field.'

  • Lastly, he anointeth with chrism the twelve crosses depicted on the wall.

  • For Philip, when he baptised the eunuch, had neither oil nor chrism.

  • Jerry lived under the daily chrism of that soft well-wishing.

    Old Crow

    Alice Brown

British Dictionary definitions for chrism



  1. a mixture of olive oil and balsam used for sacramental anointing in the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches
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Derived Formschrismal (ˈkrɪzməl), adjective

Word Origin

Old English crisma, from Medieval Latin, from Greek khrisma unction, from khriein to anoint
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 chrism


"oil mingled with balm," Old English chrisma, from Church Latin chrisma, from Greek khrisma "an unguent, anointing, unction," from khriein "to anoint," from PIE root *ghrei- "to rub" (cf. Lithuanian griejù "to skim the cream off"). Chrisom "baptismal robe," is a c.1200 variant of this. Related: Chrismal; chrismatory.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper