anoint

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Old French enoint, past participle of enoindre, from Latin inungere, from in + ungere, unguere (to smear; to anoint). See ointment, unguent.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

anoint (third-person singular simple present anoints, present participle anointing, simple past and past participle anointed)

  1. (transitive) To smear or rub over with oil or an unctuous substance; also, to spread over, as oil.
    • And fragrant oils the stiffened limbs anoint. —Dryden.
    • He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. —John ix. 6.
  2. (transitive) To apply oil to or to pour oil upon, etc., as a sacred rite, especially for consecration.
    • Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his [Aaron's] head and anoint him. —Exod. xxix. 7.
    • Anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. —1 Kings xix. 15.
  3. (transitive, figuratively) to choose or nominate somebody for an leading or otherwise important position, especially formally or officially, or as an intended successor
  4. (transitive, historical) to mark somebody as an official ruler, especially a king or queen, as a part of a religious ceremony

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