Definition of christen in English:



  • 1 Give (a baby) a Christian name at baptism as a sign of admission to a Christian Church.

    [with object and complement] ‘their second daughter was christened Jeanette’
    • ‘Bohr, although he had been christened in the Christian Church, had Jewish origins on his mother's side and so, when the Nazis occupied Denmark in 1940, his life became exceedingly difficult.’
    • ‘She had twice asked a vicar to christen the baby.’
    • ‘Hundreds of people packed into St Elizabeth's Parish Church in Horwich on Monday - the same church where Byron was christened 18 years ago - to say their final goodbyes.’
    • ‘The baby was christened in the Holy Family Church and will be called Niamh Mary.’
    • ‘Despite my views on God and religion, I felt it important that the kids should be christened in their local church.’
    • ‘A doting couple travelled 3,000 miles so their baby could be christened in the same cathedral as his mother and grandmother.’
    • ‘Now, eight months after their dramatic birth, they are in good health and have been christened at Bury Parish Church.’
    • ‘As befitted his station the child was christened in the Church of the Mission.’
    • ‘Born in Gisborne on 11 November 1912 and christened Marjorie Iris Somervell, she was just a girl during World War I.’
    • ‘The baby boy was christened John Paul a short time later.’
    • ‘Their baby son will be christened Matthew in memory of his father.’
    • ‘The baby, to be christened Clara Rosa, was born on June 26 and weighed 6lbs 8ozs.’
    • ‘George Eliot, christened Mary Anne Evans, was born on November 22, 1819.’
    • ‘The son, christened Joseph William, grew up in Dundas with his mother and five elder sisters, and was one of the first pupils to attend the new Union School, built in 1857.’
    • ‘This spring water was used in the font in the church to christen babies.’
    • ‘Emily was put on a ventilator and christened in the hospital, but after five weeks doctors said she was strong enough to go home with her parents.’
    • ‘Babies had to be christened in the established Protestant church, couples had to be married there, and everyone had to attend Protestant Sunday services on pain of heavy fines or imprisonment.’
    • ‘Although christened Maria Philomena, she like to be called by her preferred name, Maureen.’
    • ‘She was born on June 16, 1886, and christened Helen Nora Wilson Low.’
    • ‘Babies are christened according to the principles set down by the Lutheran Church of Iceland.’
    1. 1.1Give to (someone or something) a name that reflects a notable quality or characteristic.
      [with object and complement] ‘a person so creepy that his colleagues christened him “Millipede.”’
      • ‘Indeed, Fr. Harry's ability to show-up almost anywhere led to some friends christening him as the ‘Holy Spirit’ which he enjoyed no end!’
      • ‘Since I have not been able to find a definite name for the gambit, I will temporarily christen it the ‘Kevitz Gambit,’ secure in the knowledge that if this is a blunder my readers will quickly set me straight.’
      • ‘Although Karanjia already had a daughter, she took the abandoned baby home and christened her Dimple Irene.’
      • ‘He mocked his colleagues in Congress by christening Washington the ‘city of Satan.’’
      • ‘We had a huge 27 inch black and white TV, that one of our family friends had christened, ‘Harbour View.’’
      • ‘Upon first seeing it, Peter christened it ‘The Perfect Shirt’ - a name which has stuck to this day.’
      • ‘Sure he christens his motorcycles with nicknames such as ‘Dream Machine’ and ‘Freedom Blues’, but Noel considers himself a poet nevertheless.’
      • ‘The Major later decided that such a formidable opponent must certainly be an officer, and christened him ‘Colonel Bogey,’ a term still heard today.’
      • ‘The duckling, christened Lucky, was waddling down Cyprus Road behind its mother with its nine brothers and sisters when it toppled over and fell into a storm drain.’
      • ‘Her colleagues have christened her Erin Brockovich after the legal rights activist made famous by Hollywood - and now Bob Carr knows why.’
      • ‘And the Armagh back line indulged Spillane by donning the nicknames he had christened them with.’
      • ‘She loved Abba's recording of Fernando and decided to christen her favourite waiter with this name.’
      • ‘We even christened him with a jazzy, American-sounding name… Judy!’
      • ‘They were unofficially christened the Brown Water Navy.’
      • ‘Casey christened her the Pink Panther, and the name has stuck.’
      • ‘Early in this miserable stretch, I christened him the Arsonist, and the name stuck among my friends.’
      • ‘Matt had christened Jerry with that nickname when they were boys because of his friend's Celtic heritage.’
      • ‘It didn't have a name, so we christened it the Dangerously Drinkable.’
      • ‘They christened him Il Gigante Buono, literally the Good Giant, but more correctly the Gentle Giant - he was never even cautioned during his 20-year pro career.’
      • ‘Behind our chalet, which my daughter christened the Magic House, rose our very own mountain, at least 50 metres high.’
      call, name, dub, style, term, designate, label, nickname, refer to as, give the name of
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Dedicate (a vessel, building, etc.) ceremonially.
      ‘their first garbage truck was christened with a bottle of champagne’
      • ‘As part of the ceremony, Zoe cracked a confetti-filled egg (a cascarone) over David's head like she was christening a ship.’
      • ‘I also told Alexander that a new ship, christened as the New Protector, had been built to be his new flagship and now waiting at Shipyard.’
      • ‘Hence, easyCinema, a 2,000-seat, 10-screen complex that Stelios christened in May.’
      • ‘The ship was renamed the Stella Maris by his wife and christened by his daughter with a bottle of champagne before making for dry-dock in Cork.’
      • ‘After Jessica Lynch christens the Miracle, snipping a string and sending a bottle of champagne smashing into the bow, the boat will head out to sea for its maiden voyage, a three-day trip to the Bahamas.’
      • ‘Former first lady Nancy Reagan christened the ship on the 49th anniversary of her marriage to Ronald Reagan and in the presence of US President George W Bush.’
      • ‘Sweden's King Carl Gustav XVI will preside at the launch, with his wife, Queen Silvia, christening the ship with the traditional bottle of champagne.’
      • ‘The Navy announced that two ships will be built and christened to memorialize 9/11 victims.’
      • ‘Earlier this month, accompanied by their families, the students went to HMAS Parramatta and formerly christened the craft by withdrawing pennants from across their names.’
    3. 1.3informal Use for the first time.
      ‘let's get steaks and christen the new grill’
      • ‘Several drinks later, comes the worst part of the day - what seems like a half-day trek through the mud, in the dark, uphill, to our tent in the newly christened Strummer field.’
      • ‘Brown made his Yorkshire debut in the first friendly of the season against Derbyshire at Scarborough's South Cliff Golf Club, where several new holes were christened in the inter-county exchange.’
      • ‘I'm so glad I brought my walking pole, it's great for measuring bog depth before you leap in, my new boots have been well and truly christened now.’
      begin using, use for the first time, break in
      View synonyms


Old English crīstnian make Christian from crīsten Christian from Latin Christianus, from Christus Christ.