Definition of chrisom in English:



  • A white robe put on a child at baptism.

    • ‘If the child died within a month of baptism, the chrisom-cloth was used as a burial shroud.’
    • ‘Chrisomer literally means an infant buried in its baptism robe (chrisom).’
    • ‘Though not required by the Protestant prayer book, chrisom cloths were still standard equipment, at least in the Elizabethan period.’
    • ‘It is said to depict a chrisom child, i.e., a chrisom is a child's white robe worn at baptism, used as a shroud if the infant dies within a month.’
    • ‘This white vesture was worn for a month after the child's birth, and if it died before the expiration of that time, it had the chrisom for its shroud.’
    winding sheet, grave clothes, burial clothes, cerements
    View synonyms


Middle English: alteration of chrism, representing a popular pronunciation with two syllables.