Definition of christen in English:



[with object]
  • 1Give (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’
    • ‘The baby was christened in the Holy Family Church and will be called Niamh Mary.’
    • ‘She had twice asked a vicar to christen the baby.’
    • ‘She was born on June 16, 1886, and christened Helen Nora Wilson Low.’
    • ‘Although christened Maria Philomena, she like to be called by her preferred name, Maureen.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The baby boy was christened John Paul a short time later.’
    • ‘George Eliot, christened Mary Anne Evans, was born on November 22, 1819.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Babies are christened according to the principles set down by the Lutheran Church of Iceland.’
    • ‘This spring water was used in the font in the church to christen babies.’
    • ‘Now, eight months after their dramatic birth, they are in good health and have been christened at Bury Parish Church.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Despite my views on God and religion, I felt it important that the kids should be christened in their local church.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He had been christened in the Christian Church.’
    • ‘A doting couple travelled 3,000 miles so their baby could be christened in the same cathedral as his mother and grandmother.’
    1. 1.1Give a name to (someone or something) which reflects a notable characteristic.
      with object and complement ‘we have christened our regular train home the ghost train’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He mocked his colleagues in Congress by christening Washington the ‘city of Satan.’’
      • ‘They were unofficially christened the Brown Water Navy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Although Karanjia already had a daughter, she took the abandoned baby home and christened her Dimple Irene.’
      • ‘Her colleagues have christened her Erin Brockovich after the legal rights activist made famous by Hollywood - and now Bob Carr knows why.’
      • ‘It didn't have a name, so we christened it the Dangerously Drinkable.’
      • ‘Casey christened her the Pink Panther, and the name has stuck.’
      • ‘We had a huge 27 inch black and white TV, that one of our family friends had christened, ‘Harbour View.’’
      • ‘And the Armagh back line indulged Spillane by donning the nicknames he had christened them with.’
      • ‘Behind our chalet, which my daughter christened the Magic House, rose our very own mountain, at least 50 metres high.’
      • ‘Sure he christens his motorcycles with nicknames such as ‘Dream Machine’ and ‘Freedom Blues’, but Noel considers himself a poet nevertheless.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘We even christened him with a jazzy, American-sounding name… Judy!’
      • ‘The Major later decided that such a formidable opponent must certainly be an officer, and christened him ‘Colonel Bogey,’ a term still heard today.’
      • ‘Matt had christened Jerry with that nickname when they were boys because of his friend's Celtic heritage.’
      • ‘Early in this miserable stretch, I christened him the Arsonist, and the name stuck among my friends.’
      • ‘She loved Abba's recording of Fernando and decided to christen her favourite waiter with this name.’
      • ‘Upon first seeing it, Peter christened it ‘The Perfect Shirt’ - a name which has stuck to this day.’
      • ‘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.’
      call, name, dub, style, term, designate, label, nickname, refer to as, give the name of
      View synonyms
  • 2informal Use for the first time.

    ‘he bought a new pair of boots and christened them with his first goal at the McAlpine Stadium’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’.