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

  • n. Ecclesiastical A consecrated mixture of oil and balsam, used for anointing in church sacraments such as baptism and confirmation. Also called holy oil.
  • n. Ecclesiastical A sacramental anointing, especially upon confirmation into the Eastern Orthodox Church.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mixture of oil and balm, consecrated for use as an anointing fluid in certain Christian ceremonies, especially confirmation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. Olive oil mixed with balm and spices, consecrated by the bishop on Maundy Thursday, and used in the administration of baptism, confirmation, ordination, etc.
  • n. The same as Chrisom.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Eccles.: A sacred ointment, consecrated by a bishop, used in the rites of baptism, confirmation, ordination, and coronation, in the consecration of churches, altar-stones, and chalices, and in blessing the baptismal water.
  • n. The rite of confirmation.
  • n. Same as chrismal, .
  • n. The baptismal vesture; a white garment formerly given to the newly baptized as a symbol of the new robe of righteousness given to the saints: in this sense commonly chrisom.
  • n. In general, that with which one is anointed, or the act of anointing.
  • n. A chrism-child.
  • To anoint with chrism.

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

  • n. a consecrated ointment consisting of a mixture of oil and balsam


Middle English crisme, chrism, chrisom, from Old English crisma, from Latin chrīsma, from Greek khrīsma, an anointing, from khrīein, to anoint.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin crisma, from Ecclesiastical Latin chrisma, from Ancient Greek χρῖσμα (khrisma, "anointing”, “unction"), from χρίω ("anoint"). (Wiktionary)



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  • A mixture of oil of olives and balsam, blessed by a bishop in a special manner and used in the administration of certain sacraments and in the performance of certain ecclesiastical functions. That chrism may serve as valid matter for the Sacrament of Confirmation it must consist of pure oil of olives, and it must be blessed by a bishop, or at least by a priest delegated by the Holy See. These two conditions are certainly necessary for validity; moreover it is probable that there should be an admixture of balsam, and that the blessing of the chrism should be special, in the sense that it ought to be different from that which is given to the oil of the sick or the oil of catechumens.

    (from the Catholic Encyclopedia)

    October 6, 2007

  • Oil mingled with balm, consecrated for use as an unguent in the administration of certain sacraments in the Eastern and Western Churches.

    February 3, 2007