Definition of chrism in English:



  • [mass noun] A mixture of oil and balsam, consecrated and used for anointing at baptism and in other rites of Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican Churches.

    • ‘In it he expresses his anguish at the killings: ‘The newly baptized in their white garments had just been anointed with chrism.’’
    • ‘Having been anointed with chrism, they would put their clothes back on and enter the church to participate in the Eucharist for the first time.’
    • ‘The child is then anointed with chrism, a consecrated oil, and placed in a white baptismal garment.’
    • ‘On Confirmation Day, the teenage candidates waited nervously for the questions the bishop would ask before anointing them with chrism.’
    • ‘The frequent theft of chrism from churches for magical purposes is a case in point; surely this was not a clear indicator of persistent paganism.’


Old English, from medieval Latin crisma, ecclesiastical Latin chrisma, from Greek khrisma anointing, from khriein anoint.