To baptize is to initiate or bring someone into a group. This word is often associated with the religious practice of baptizing a baby or baptizing a person who converts to a new religion. Baptismal rites almost always involve the use of water on the forehead or a person’s body is fully submerged in water.

  • A priest baptizes a baby.
  • Babies are baptized by priests.
  • Adults are baptized when they convert.
  • A majority of Christian religions baptize children and adults.

The word "baptism" is a noun.

  • A baptism is performed by a priest.
  • We have to attend a baptism for our nephew.
  • It’s believed by some religious scholars that John the Baptist performed a baptism for Jesus.


Sometimes the word "baptism" is used figuratively when a person undergoes an experience that is difficult or transformative.

  • Soldiers learn real-life military skills in combat. This is a baptism of fire.
  • Don’s five months as an intern at that company served as a baptism by fire.


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December 2, 2015