baptism of fire

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Alternative forms[edit]


Derived from English translations of the New Testament, namely the Gospels of Matthew (3:11) and of Luke (3:16); from Ancient Greek through Latin; presumably from Aramaic.


baptism of fire (plural baptisms of fire)

  1. (Christianity) The gift of the Holy Spirit.
  2. (Christianity) Tribulation endured as spiritual discipline.
    • 2013, “Mammy?”, in Mrs. Brown's Boys, season 3, episode 5, spoken by Father Damien (Conor Moloney):
      And the Father's counselor suggested that he invite you along to help: sort of a re–baptism of fire, so to speak.
  3. (Christianity) Martyrdom by immolation.
  4. (military, figuratively) The first experience of a severe ordeal, especially a first experience of military combat
    Having to deal with a bomb scare on his first day was a real baptism of fire for John.


See also[edit]