Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To admit into Christianity by means of baptism.
  • transitive v. To cleanse or purify.
  • transitive v. To initiate.
  • transitive v. To give a first or Christian name to; christen.
  • intransitive v. To administer baptism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To sprinkle or pour water over, or to immerse in water, as a spiritual cleansing process in the rite of Christian baptism.
  • v. To dedicate or christen.
  • v. Of rum, brandy, or any other spirits, to dilute with water.
  • v. To ensure proper burning of a joint by moistening the exterior with saliva.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To administer the sacrament of baptism to.
  • transitive v. To christen (because a name is given to infants at their baptism); to give a name to; to name.
  • transitive v. To sanctify; to consecrate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To administer the rite of baptism to. See baptism.
  • To christen; name; denominate: with allusion to the naming of infants at baptism.
  • Sometimes spelled baptise.

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

  • v. administer baptism to

Etymologies

Middle English baptizen, from Old French baptiser, from Late Latin baptīzāre, from Greek baptizein, from baptein, to dip.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French baptiser, batisier, from Ecclesiastical Latin baptizare, from Ancient Greek βαπτίζω ("to immerse, plunge, baptize"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I didn’t want to use the word baptize in front of my grandfather, lest it scare him off.

    The Grace to Race

  • _John Calvin_ (Presbyterian): "The word baptize signifies to immerse, and it is certain that the rite of immersion was observed by the ancient church."

    To Infidelity and Back

  • The word baptize signifies originally to tinge, to dye, to stain, as those who dye clothes.

    Barnes New Testament Notes

  • The Hebrew Word (tabal) which is rendered by the word baptize, occurs in the Old Testament in the following places, viz.: -- Le 4: 6; 14: 6,51; Nu 19: 18; Ru 2: 14; Ex

    Barnes New Testament Notes

  • Lexicographers have defined and analyzed the word baptize in its different forms.

    The Gospel Day Or, the Light of Christianity

  • I recognize the fact that our word baptize is not a translation, but simply the Greek word transferred with an English termination affixed and must therefore be interpreted by the reader of English.

    Autobiography of John G. Fee: Berea, Kentucky

  • So wash is not the proper meaning of the word baptize, when used to designate action.

    Autobiography of John G. Fee: Berea, Kentucky

  • This is vital to life and character; but correct opinions about the import of the word baptize, or the design of baptism, are not vital in the case of the true believer; the mistake does not destroy

    Autobiography of John G. Fee: Berea, Kentucky

  • "The word baptize means immerse entirely; and it is certain that the custom of thus entirely immersing was anciently observed in the church"; but he then assumes the papal dogma, "that the church has reserved to herself the right to change the form somewhat, retaining the substance."

    Autobiography of John G. Fee: Berea, Kentucky

  • It will be said, you insist upon correct opinions about Christ; why not about the word baptize?

    Autobiography of John G. Fee: Berea, Kentucky

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Comments

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  • Nifty. Thanks, qroqqa.

    May 22, 2009

  • Looks like it: Wyclif in 1382-3 used solemnize, sabbatize, authorize, then come the next burst in the 1420s: practise (which has since been remodelled), moralize, and in a text about surgery organize, paralyse, pulverize.

    May 22, 2009

  • How 'bout that. I wonder what the second- and third-oldest are, and whether they have a similar connection to Christianity?

    May 22, 2009

  • The OED says this is probably the oldest English word to contain the -ize suffix (attested from 1297).

    May 22, 2009