Pronunciation: (bap'tiz-um), [key]
1. Eccles.a ceremonial immersion in water, or application of water, as an initiatory rite or sacrament of the Christian church.
2. any similar ceremony or action of initiation, dedication, etc.
3. a trying or purifying experience or initiation.
4. Christian Science.purification of thought and character.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.