Definition of baptistery in English:


(also baptistry)


  • 1The part of a church used for baptism.

    • ‘This afforded opportunities for conversation - especially when the purpose of the baptistry was explained.’
    • ‘The Reverend Kyle Lake, 33, was standing in water in a baptistery at University Baptist Church when he was electrocuted on Sunday morning.’
    • ‘The Saint Philip reliquary is one of the best preserved of the reliquaries from the Florentine baptistery, but its original appearance has undergone a significant transformation.’
    • ‘He won early distinction for himself when he entered the competition to create the bronze doors for the baptistry of the city's cathedral.’
    • ‘A third window in the baptistry is based on the classical painting ‘Light of the World’.’
    • ‘Immediately inside the main door there is a remarkable oval shaped baptistry with a rose window and a ceiling full of five, six and seven pointed stars on a dark blue night sky.’
    • ‘The baptistery was built in the area formerly occupied by the two furnaces; the hexagonal baptismal pool in the centre was formerly covered by a canopy on six columns, two of which survive.’
    • ‘Positioned asymmetrically, an ornate, 17 th-century altarpiece marks the entrance to the baptistery and the nave just beyond.’
    • ‘The baptistery's sumptuous sculptural programme includes Virgin and Last Judgement portals and interior niches, simplifying but also monumentalizing their French sources.’
    • ‘Carl Erikson has a series of photos that portrays a number of baptisteries used for adult baptism.’
    • ‘In January 1908, the nave and baptistry were dedicated.’
    • ‘‘The painting will hang in the Victorian baptistry behind the stone font which is a very fitting location,’ he said.’
    • ‘In 1425, the powerful wool merchants' guild of Florence commissioned the artist Lorenzo Ghiberti to construct a door for the baptistry of St John in the city.’
    • ‘The Victorian church will have new lighting and a baptistery, the pews will be replaced by chairs and it will be redecorated throughout.’
    • ‘During the reconstruction of the church between 1965 and 1969, it was located in the old baptistry but was much smaller in size.’
    • ‘This trompe l'œuil style is derived ultimately from late antique decoration exemplified in both the orthodox baptistry in Ravenna and St George, Thessaloniki.’
    • ‘The octagon, suggests Perrin, was chosen for its resonance with the baptistries of the ancient and gothic worlds.’
    • ‘To reduce returning sound being muddied, the rear wall to the baptistry was opened with angled cuts and a tapestry hung, resulting in unusual visual links to the space.’
    • ‘Giovanni del Chiaro provided the baptistery with a number of important and expensive liturgical objects, including a basin and two silver ampullae.’
    1. 1.1historical A building next to a church, used for baptism.
      • ‘In Florence, charging for admissions started with the baptistery and the museum of the duomo - a nuisance that did not prevent visits or prayer in the church proper.’
      • ‘It glistens with a thick varnish-like finish that compels opening, parting at the center like a medieval church's baptistry doors.’
      • ‘It is in Ravenna that the earliest mosaics are preserved, in temple after temple, in museums, presbyteries, baptistries and churches.’
      • ‘The baptistery has been repositioned and the sanctuary extended.’
      • ‘On this panel, Brunelleschi painted a view of the baptistery from a representation that he had traced on and over its mirror reflection.’
    2. 1.2 (in a Baptist chapel) a sunken receptacle used for baptism by total immersion.
      • ‘To give a more vivid demonstration of the accuracy of his painting, he bored a small hole in the panel with the baptistery painting at the vanishing point.’
      • ‘Then, after a long day of talking and gorging, you can go soak your feet in the baptistery.’
      • ‘I could open the baptistry and fill it with water and point a gun at someone's head and say, ‘You are being baptised or I'll shoot you dead.’’
      • ‘The cross behind the baptistery was brown and the large double doors leading outside were red, as well as the thin carpet down the isle that led to the pulpit.’
      • ‘The original baptismal basin was incorporated into the installation and water flows continually among the pieces of the new baptistery.’


Middle English: from Old French baptistere, via ecclesiastical Latin from ecclesiastical Greek baptistērion, from baptizein ‘immerse, baptize’.