Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A religious sacrament 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.
  • n. A ceremony, trial, or experience by which one is initiated, purified, or given a name.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The Bible Baptist Christian personal ordinance in which one is submerged in water.
  • n. The Christian sacrament in which one is anointed with or submerged in water and sometimes given a name.
  • n. A similar ceremony of initiation, purification or naming.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of baptizing; the application of water to a person, as a sacrament or religious ceremony, by which he is initiated into the visible church of Christ. This is performed by immersion, sprinkling, or pouring.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sacrament or ordinance of the Christian church, instituted by Christ as an initiatory rite, consisting in the immersion of the person in water, or in the application of water to the person by affusion or by sprinkling, by an authorized administrator, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
  • n. Any ceremonial ablution intended as a sign of purification, dedication, etc.: as, the baptism administered by John the Baptist, or that administered to proselytes by the ancient Jews; the baptism or christening of bells, ships, and other objects in the Roman Catholic Church, etc.
  • n. Martyrdom.
  • n. Same as baptismal character (which see, under baptismal).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a Christian sacrament signifying spiritual cleansing and rebirth

Etymologies

Middle English baptisme, from Old French, from Late Latin baptismus, from Greek baptismos, from baptizein, to baptize; see baptize.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French batesme or bapteme, from Ecclesiastical Latin baptismus, from Ancient Greek βαπτισμός (baptismós, "dipping, baptism"), from βαπτίζω (baptízō, "I dip in liquid"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Nor had I denied the divine appointment of baptism, but only declared my belief that _water baptism_, though a becoming rite under the Christian dispensation, was the baptism of John, and absolutely binding only under his intermediate dispensation.

    Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again A Life Story

  • Mr. Lloyd, however, was in as great a mistake; for when insisting that the rite of baptism by water was to cease, when the _spiritual_ administration of CHRIST began, he maintained, that John the Baptist said, '_My baptism_ shall decrease, but _his_ shall increase.'

    Life of Johnson, Volume 2 1765-1776

  • He did not approve of rebaptism, for he insisted that the all-important matter was not how or when water was applied, {81} but the reception of _Christ's real baptism_, an inner baptism, a baptism of spirit and power, by which the believing soul, the inner man, is clarified, strengthened, and made pure. [

    Spiritual Reformers in the 16th & 17th Centuries

  • They often long and cry for what they call a baptism of power.

    Holy in Christ Thoughts on the Calling of God's Children to be Holy as He is Holy

  • But baptism is only the beginning, for it "seeks for the attainment of the fullness of life in Christ" (Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, n. 92), and thus for the common reception of Christ in the Eucharist.

    Ecumenism

  • Genealogy is very important in the Mormon religion, mostly because of the Mormon belief in what is known as baptism for the dead.

    The Sins of Brother Curtis

  • With all problems we have,: 2 wars, ineffective and bungling administration, economical recession (or call it what you want) gasoline prices going through the roof mounting foods costs, John McCain second baptism is 50th on a scale 1 to 10.

    McCain on baptism plans: 'It's a private thing.'

  • To make his point, Cowan distorts some scriptural passages: for example, he says, "Peter declared in 1 Peter 3: 21 that baptism is a figure, or symbol" (p. 93).

    Taylor vs. Cowan

  • This separation of water baptism and spiritual baptism is certainly not one on which Christians are agreed, and it has no biblical precedent.

    Taylor vs. Cowan

  • Locke explains that baptism is spiritual insurance.

    The Tail Section » 2007 » July

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  • US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906: Railroad telegraphers' shorthand for the statement "Report to this office promptly all delays of baggage".

    January 20, 2013