Definition of anoint in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈnoint/


[with object]
1Smear or rub with oil, typically as part of a religious ceremony: high priests were anointed with oil bodies were anointed after death for burial
More example sentences
  • According to some reports, when they returned two days later to anoint his body, they found the tomb empty.
  • The women speculate on the stone and who will move it for them so they can anoint the body.
  • One traditional practice that is part of this belief system is anointing one's body with butter or ghee, a clarified butter used for cooking and other purposes.
1.1 (anoint something with) Smear or rub something with (any other substance): Cuna Indians anoint the tips of their arrows with poison
More example sentences
  • Because if you're anointing your appliances with olive oil because a WEBSITE told you to, you're clearly easily manipulated.
  • We see the example of the act of anointing people with oil for physical ailments…
  • When I started at the Savoy my temporary boss was the young Spanish man who, as previously described, had anointed my middle finger with vintage brandy.
1.2Ceremonially confer divine or holy office upon (a priest or monarch) by smearing or rubbing with oil: the Lord has anointed me to preach to the poor [with object and complement]: Samuel anointed him king
More example sentences
  • This was the oil they used to anoint kings and priests, and that upon John the Baptist anointing Jesus, Jesus sees a vision of God, and the Holy Spirit descends on him.
  • In 754 Pope Stephen II personally went to Ponthion to consecrate his power through the highly symbolical act of ceremonially anointing Pippin as king.
  • But when the time comes for a conclave to anoint a new pontiff to lead the world's 1.1 billion Catholics, John Paul's influence will still be considerable.
1.3Nominate or choose (someone) as successor to or leading candidate for a position: he was anointed as the organizational candidate of the party (as adjective anointed) his officially anointed heir
More example sentences
  • Their shot at least one network anchor job was eliminated this past summer when MSNBC anchor Brian Williams was anointed the successor to NBC veteran anchor Tom Brokaw.
  • Such a reputation has Harrington that in Houston, Charles Barkley had anointed him his successor at power forward.
  • As a hardline right-winger in the early 1990s I was personally anointed by Margaret Thatcher as her chosen successor.



Anointing of the Sick

(In the Roman Catholic Church) the sacramental anointing of the ill or infirm with blessed oil; unction.
Example sentences
  • There will be Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick at 2.30 pm.
  • There will be a special Mass on Thursday at 3pm during which the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be celebrated.
  • In the Romanian Orthodox church, the Anointing of the Sick is administered by three priests and may be given to the healthy to prevent illness.

God's (or the Lord's) anointed

A monarch ruling by divine right.
Example sentences
  • Reacting to this injustice with the righteous indignation of the Lord's anointed, David is enraged that anything so egregious, so pitiless, should take place in his kingdom.
  • Instead of praising the act of killing Saul as merciful and kind, David calls for the man to be executed because of his not being afraid to destroy the Lord's anointed.
  • As the sons of Jesse were paraded before Samuel, even the Lord's servant said of Eliab: ‘Surely the Lord's anointed stands here’.





Pronunciation: /əˈnointmənt/
Example sentences
  • Hundreds and thousands of people line up for him to do anointment.
  • He wasn't alone in being unsure exactly what it was supposed to mean, but it was clearly an anointment for the future.
  • But her anointment by Mr. da Silva, who has steered Brazil through one of its greatest periods of prosperity, automatically made her a contender.


Middle English: from Old French enoint 'anointed', past participle of enoindre, from Latin inungere, from in- 'upon' + ungere 'anoint, smear with oil'.

  • unction from Late Middle English:

    This is from Latin unctio, from unguere ‘anoint’, also the source of unguent (Late Middle English), and via French of anoint (Middle English) and ointment (Middle English). The phrase extreme unction in the Roman Catholic Church refers to a final anointing of a sick person in danger of death. Unctuous had the early sense ‘greasy; like an ointment’, which rapidly developed into ‘rich’. The sense ‘having spiritual unction’ developed in the mid 18th century, but rapidly developed the sense that this was hypocritical.

Words that rhyme with anoint

appoint, conjoint, joint, outpoint, point, point-to-point

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a·noint

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