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4 definitions found
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Baptism \Bap"tism\, n. [OE. baptim, baptem, OF. baptesme,
     batisme, F. bapt[^e]me, L. baptisma, fr. Gr. ba`ptisma, fr.
     bapti`zein to baptize, fr. ba`ptein to dip in water, akin to
     baqy`s deep, Skr. g[=a]h to dip, bathe, v. i.]
     The act of baptizing; the application of water to a person,
     as a sacrament or religious ceremony, by which he is
     initiated into the visible church of Christ. This is
     performed by immersion, sprinkling, or pouring.
     [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a Christian sacrament signifying spiritual cleansing and
           rebirth; "most churches baptize infants but some insist on
           adult baptism"

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  84 Moby Thesaurus words for "baptism":
     acceptance, admission, admittance, affusion, appellation,
     aspergation, aspersion, baptismal gown, baptismal regeneration,
     baptistery, baptizement, bath, bathing, bedewing, burial, calling,
     chrismal, christening, confirmation, dampening, damping,
     definition, deluge, denomination, designation, dewing, dip,
     dipping, dousing, drowning, duck, ducking, dunking, engulfment,
     enlistment, enrollment, extreme unction, flooding, font,
     holy orders, hosing, hosing down, humidification, identification,
     immergence, immersion, immission, inauguration, induction,
     infusion, initiation, installation, instatement, intromission,
     inundation, investiture, irrigation, laving, matrimony, moistening,
     naming, nicknaming, ordination, penance, rinsing, seven sacraments,
     sinking, souse, sousing, sparging, spattering, splashing,
     splattering, spraying, sprinkling, styling, submergence,
     submersion, swashing, terming, the Eucharist, total immersion,
     watering, wetting

From The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906) :

  BAPTISM, n.  A sacred rite of such efficacy that he who finds himself
  in heaven without having undergone it will be unhappy forever.  It is
  performed with water in two ways -- by immersion, or plunging, and by
  aspersion, or sprinkling.
      But whether the plan of immersion
      Is better than simple aspersion
          Let those immersed
          And those aspersed
      Decide by the Authorized Version,
      And by matching their agues tertian.

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