[kris-uh-ning, kris-ning]


the ceremony of baptism, especially as accompanied by the giving of a name to a child.
a public ceremony in which a new ship is formally named and launched.
an act or instance of naming or dedicating something new.

Origin of christening

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at christen, -ing1


[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 christening

Contemporary Examples of christening

Historical Examples of christening

  • There was a report that she had first worn it at her christening; the report originated with herself.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Then, as the visitors were thinking of leaving, they spoke of the christening.


    Emile Zola

  • Money for christening, for confession, for everything from the cradle to the grave.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • When the night of the christening arrived the castle was beautiful to behold.

  • Three priests came to that christening, and Madame Levaille was godmother.

    Tales of Unrest

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for christening



the Christian sacrament of baptism or the ceremony in which this is conferred


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 christening



"act or ceremony of baptizing," c.1300, verbal noun from christen (v.). Old English had cristnung.



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