[kris-uh n]

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 formschris·ten·er, nounre·chris·ten, verb (used with object)un·chris·tened, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for christen

Contemporary Examples of christen

Historical Examples of christen

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

  • I did stop yer honours, and we did christen that baby, both inside and out.

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


    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for christen


verb (tr)

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 Formschristener, noun

Word Origin for christen

Old English cristnian, from Crīst Christ
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 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