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In the Christian Church, the religious rite of sprinkling water on a person's head or of immersing them in water, symbolizing purification or regeneration and admission to the Christian Church. Recorded from Middle English, the word comes via Old French and ecclesiastical Latin from ecclesiastical Greek baptismos ‘ceremonial washing’, from baptizein ‘immerse, baptize’.

baptism of blood the death by violence of unbaptized martyrs, regarded as a form of baptism.

baptism of fire a difficult or painful new undertaking or experience, from the original sense of ‘a soldier's first battle’.

Subjects: Christianity.

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