• WordNet 3.6
    • n baptism a Christian sacrament signifying spiritual cleansing and rebirth "most churches baptize infants but some insist on adult baptism"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Baptism 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.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n baptism 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.” The proper signification of the rite, the proper subjects of it, and the proper methods of administering it, are matters of dispute in the Christian church. In Protestant churches it is generally regarded as a symbol of purification, a rite of initiation into the visible church of Christ, and a sign ratifying God's covenant with his people. In the Roman Catholic Church baptism is the sacrament of initiation into the church of Christ, consisting essentially in the application of water to the person baptized by one having the intention of conferring the sacrament, and who pronounces at the same time the words, “N., I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” The Greek formula, “The servant of God is baptized in the name,” etc., is also recognized as valid. In all branches of the church a layman may, in case of necessity, administer baptism. In the Roman Catholic, Greek, and most Protestant churches, infant children are admitted to baptism; but among the various Baptist denominations only those are admitted who give credible evidence of possessing a Christian experience. Among them, also, it is generally performed by immersion, which they regard as the Scriptural mode. This is also the common mode in the Eastern churches; in the Western churches sprinkling or pouring is commonly substituted. The Friends reject all baptism with water, regarding Christian baptism as spiritual only.
    • n baptism 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 baptism Martyrdom.
    • n baptism Same as baptismal character (which see, under baptismal).
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Baptism immersion in or sprinkling with water as a religious ceremony—a sign and seal of the covenant of grace. It is symbolic of spiritual purification, and as a religious rite marks initiation into the Christian community
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  • Samuel Butler
    “Vaccination is the medical sacrament corresponding to baptism.”
  • Arthur Rimbaud
    “I am the slave of my baptism. Parents, you have caused my misfortune, and you have caused your own.”


Baptism of fire - A baptism of fire was a soldier's first experience of shooting. Any unpleasant experience undergone, usually where it is also a learning experience, is a baptism of fire.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. baptim, baptem, OF. baptesme, batisme, F. baptême, L. baptisma, fr. Gr. ba`ptisma, fr. bapti`zein to baptize, fr. ba`ptein to dip in water, akin to baqy`s deep, Skr. gāh, to dip, bathe, (v. i.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. baptiz-einbapt-ein, to dip in water.


In literature:

S. Corona: Baptism, 1510.
"The Venetian School of Painting" by Evelyn March Phillipps
Several other baptisms were to have taken place upon the same day, but they will be postponed through respect for the prince.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 5, November, 1863" by Various
The act by which the faithful acquired immortality was Baptism.
"Landmarks in the History of Early Christianity" by Kirsopp Lake
The subject is the Saviour's baptism in the Jordan.
"A History of Horncastle from the earliest period to the present time" by James Conway Walter
A little while after their arrival still another died, who had the good fortune to receive holy baptism.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume 41 of 55, 1691-1700" by Various
Over it is a Baptism of Christ, with God the Father and the Dove above.
"The Shores of the Adriatic" by F. Hamilton Jackson
ON BAPTISM: a Tract for Parochial Distribution.
"Australia, its history and present condition" by William Pridden
"Epistle Sermons, Vol. III" by Martin Luther
But a private Baptism without Sponsors would be a valid Baptism.
"The Church: Her Books and Her Sacraments" by E. E. Holmes
For the slave and his master there was one law and one hope, one baptism, one Saviour, one Judge.
"History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume I (of 2)" by John William Draper

In poetry:

Purged by baptismal fires,
A purer life is hers;
With holier desires
Her new heart stirs!
"Redeemed!" by Alfred Gibbs Campbell
Buried with Him by baptism to death
Following the path which He the Sa lour trod,
To rise with Him to that new life He saith
He hath laid up for us with Christ in God
"Baptism In Lake Aluumette" by Nora Pembroke
By sufferings mighty as his mighty soul
Hath the Redeemer risen forever blest;
And through all ages must his heart-beloved
Through the same baptism enter the same rest.
""Mary At The Cross"" by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Columbia! My Country! My Mother! thy glory
Was born in a spirit Immortal, divine;
And when from God's lips passed the nectar of heaven,
Thy current baptismal was deified wine!
"Pro Patria: America, 1861" by Adah Isaacs Menken
One holy name bearing, no longer they need
Credentials of party, and pass-words of creed
The new song they sing hath a threefold accord,
And they own one baptism, one faith, and one Lord!
"The Quaker Alumni" by John Greenleaf Whittier
What though the champions of thy faith esteem
The sprinkled fountain or baptismal stream;
Shall jealous passions in unseemly strife
Cross their dark weapons o’er the waves of life?
"A Rhymed Lesson (Urania)" by Oliver Wendell Holmes

In news:

An unpleasant baptism for Todd Bowles.
Kelly has conducted some 300 baptisms during his 25 years as a priest, but this was his first on the Ashland -- and his first on the Navy's birthday.
Daniel Pearl's father: Void posthumous baptisms of Jewish people.
Judea Pearl, shown in 2006, said the Mormon Church should nullify posthumous baptisms of Jewish people.
Toward the end of May, 1970, I stood waist high in water in a baptismal font of a temple in Hamilton, New Zealand, while the name of my deceased father was read aloud.
A Lutheran bishop's perspective on Mormon baptism for the dead.
Two decades of anger, apologies and agreements have failed to keep the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from ending posthumous Mormon baptisms of prominent Jews and holocaust victims.
The best known, "Take Me to the Water," matches antique photographs of river baptisms with a CD of old gospel songs and sermons.
"We are currently conducting preparatory discussions for persons who either have never been baptized , or anyone whose previous understanding of baptism 's meaning had not prepared them for a Christian life," Donaldson said.
Again, he asked the church to strike him from baptismal records.
Vancouver British Columbia Temple, Baptismal font, April 2010, Photos by IRI.
Church to Fight Washington State Decision to Prohibit Baptism in Public Park.
Bing Rupert Ellis, son of Philip Andrew Ellis and Lei Collins Ellis of Newnan, received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism on May 1, 2011, during the 8:30 am service at The Cathedral of Christ the King in Sharpsburg.
' Baptism by fire' for Baylor point guard.
New Olympic Medical Center board member Tom Oblak received a baptism by fire after his swearing-in, Wednesday, March 7.

In science:

This chapter is intended to be a gentle baptism before the confrontation with the full quantum mechanical setting in chapter V.
Coulomb systems at low density