In the Christian church, baptism is a rite that symbolizes spiritual purification and rebirth. If you’ve had a baptism, it probably involved being dipped in water or having water sprinkled on you, lots of proud relatives, and hopefully cake afterwards.

The word baptism can be traced to the Greek word baptismos, meaning “ceremonial washing.” This cleansing rite typically takes place when you’re a child and is often seen as an initiation into the church. Baptism can be used more broadly to describe other kinds of initiations as well. If you go through a difficult experience on your first day on the job, you could say that was your baptism as a customer service rep.

Definitions of baptism

n a Christian sacrament signifying spiritual cleansing and rebirth

“most churches baptize infants but some insist on adult baptism
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the act of baptizing someone by pouring water on their head
aspersion, sprinkling
the act of sprinkling water in baptism (rare)
giving a Christian name at baptism
a form of baptism in which part or all of a person's body is submerged
trine immersion
baptism by immersion three times (in the names in turn of the Trinity)
Type of:
a formal religious ceremony conferring a specific grace on those who receive it; the two Protestant ceremonies are baptism and the Lord's Supper; in the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church there are seven traditional rites accepted as instituted by Jesus: baptism and confirmation and Holy Eucharist and penance and holy orders and matrimony and extreme unction

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