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1. A religious rite considered a sacrament by most Christian groups, marked by the symbolic application of water to the head or immersion of the body into water and resulting in admission of the recipient into the community of Christians.
2. A ceremony in certain religious or nonreligious traditions in which one is initiated, purified, or given a name.
3. An initiatory experience, act, or effort: "two brilliant young graduate students whose work for this committee amounted to a baptism in defense policy" (James Carroll).

[Middle English baptisme, from Old French, from Late Latin baptismus, from Greek baptismos, from baptizein, to baptize; see baptize.]

bap·tis′mal adj.
bap·tis′mal·ly adv.


1. (Ecclesiastical Terms) a Christian religious rite consisting of immersion in or sprinkling with water as a sign that the subject is cleansed from sin and constituted as a member of the Church
2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) the act of baptizing or of undergoing baptism
3. (Ecclesiastical Terms) any similar experience of initiation, regeneration, or dedication
bapˈtismal adj
bapˈtismally adv


(ˈbæp tɪz əm)

1. a ceremonial immersion in water, or application of water, as an initiatory rite or sacrament of the Christian church.
2. any similar ceremony or action of initiation, dedication, etc.
[1250–1300; Middle English bapteme < Old French < Late Latin baptisma < Greek bapt(ízein) (see baptize) + -isma -ism]
bap•tis′mal, adj.
bap•tis′mal•ly, adv.


a member of a 16th-century Anabaptist sect who refused to learn to read, arguing that the guidance of the Holy Spirit was sufficient for the understanding of the Bible.
1. a belief in adult, as opposed to infant baptism.
2. membership in various Protestant sects advocating adult baptism. — Anabaptist, n., adj.
the denial, on scriptural grounds, of the validity of infant baptism. — antipedobaptist, antipaedobaptist, n.
an interest in collecting Christian baptismal names.
an opponent of baptism.
Christian baptism administered when there is doubt whether a person has already been baptized or whether a former baptism is valid.
the practice of ancient Jewish and early Christian sects involving daily ceremonial baptisms or ablutions. — hemerobaptist, n.
a belief in baptism by immersion. Also called immersionism. — holobaptist, n.
a belief that baptism effects a new birth or regeneration. Also palingenesy. — palingenesist, n. — palingenesian, adj.
a baptism that is in some way irregular or unauthorized. — parabaptist, n.
the historic Christian practice of infant baptism. — pedobaptist, paedobaptist, n.
a member of a sect of Anabaptists founded in Germany in 1534 by Ubbe Phillips.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.baptism - a Christian sacrament signifying spiritual cleansing and rebirthbaptism - a Christian sacrament signifying spiritual cleansing and rebirth; "most churches baptize infants but some insist on adult baptism"
sacrament - a formal religious ceremony conferring a specific grace on those who receive it; the two Protestant ceremonies are baptism and the Lord's Supper; in the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church there are seven traditional rites accepted as instituted by Jesus: baptism and confirmation and Holy Eucharist and penance and holy orders and matrimony and extreme unction
affusion - the act of baptizing someone by pouring water on their head
aspersion, sprinkling - the act of sprinkling water in baptism (rare)
christening - giving a Christian name at baptism
immersion - a form of baptism in which part or all of a person's body is submerged


1. (Christianity) christening, naming, sprinkling, purification, immersion We are at a site of baptism, a place of worship.
عمّاد، معموديه، عُمّاد، مَعْموجيّه


[ˈbæptɪzəm] N (in general) → bautismo m; (= ceremony) → bautizo m
baptism of firebautismo m de fuego


[ˈbæptɪzəm] n (RELIGION)baptême m


nTaufe f; baptism of fire (fig)Feuertaufe f


[ˈbæptɪzm] nbattesimo



(bӕpˈtaiz) verb
to dip (a person) in water, or sprinkle (someone) with water, as a symbol of acceptance into the Christian church, usually also giving him a name. She was baptized Mary but calls herself Jane.
ˈbaptism (-tizəm) noun
(an act of) baptizing. the baptism of the baby.
bapˈtismal adjective
References in periodicals archive ?
This may be taken to represent an affirmation of baptismal regeneration which raises questions about the meaning of confirmation as a rite of initiation.
Through these intellects, Jones successfully paints a picture of Baptists, most of whom are Reformed-leaning or at least interested in ecumenical dialogue, who struggle to infuse baptism with rich meaning while also avoiding connections with baptismal regeneration or pedobaptism.
He also argues for the viability of basing the doctrine of baptismal regeneration in the Christian Bible; for him, this remains congruent with Evangelical thought.
Not surprisingly, he argues for believer's baptism and against baptismal regeneration. Somewhat more surprisingly, he argues for Calvin's eucharistic theology, which he finds "comprises the trajectory in church history having the most to commend it" (219).
Secretary Bauslin read the original charges, which were couched in vague general terms which claimed that this offending professor was teaching General Council Lutheranism in a General Synod Seminary, that he was not teaching the Lutheranism of those who founded Wittenberg, and more specifically that he believed and taught baptismal regeneration to his students.
And yet, perhaps unintentionally, Craig gives plentiful evidence of Medley's partisan baiting: he disparaged the theology of Low-Church Anglicans as "rationalism" (87), their liturgical tastes as "cold worldliness" (128), their opposition to ritualism as "malevolent suspicion" and worse (137), their taste for simple decoration as "marvelous infatuation" (109), their rejection of baptismal regeneration as "infidelity" (115), their arguments against other opinions as intolerance, their understanding of the Eucharist as wrongheaded, their opposition to the Athanasian Creed as mischievous, and their opposition to the episcopal veto in synods as "ignorance and intolerable suspicion" (162).