a baptism of fire

baptism of fire

1. The first time a soldier enters combat. Taken from a phrase that originates from the Bible, in Matthew 3:11. As they marched onto the battlefield, you could see all of the uniformed boys become men as they experienced baptism of fire.
2. A difficult ordeal that one has to undergo through immersion and without preparation. One week into her new job, Mary felt like she was undergoing a baptism of fire when she was suddenly put in charge of the company's largest account.
See also: baptism, fire, of

a baptism of fire

COMMON If your first experience of a new situation is a baptism of fire, it is very difficult or unpleasant. They have given themselves a baptism of fire by playing the four best teams in the world. Having never managed a team before, I was suddenly managing thirty people. It was a baptism of fire. Note: This expression originally referred to the deaths of martyrs (= people who die because of their beliefs) by burning. It was later used by the French Emperors Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon III to refer to someone's first experience of battle.
See also: baptism, fire, of

a baptism of fire

a difficult introduction to a new job or activity.
A baptism of fire was originally a soldier's initiation into battle.
1998 Times Opposition spokesmen do not normally face a baptism of fire, but the Bank of England's unexpected decision…provided the Shadow Chancellor with an opportunity to make an early mark.
See also: baptism, fire, of

a ˌbaptism of ˈfire

an unpleasant or a frightening first experience of something: Her first day in the job was a real baptism of fire because she had to deal with a very difficult case immediately.
See also: baptism, fire, of
References in periodicals archive ?
AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Olympic finalist Lawrence Okoye admits he faces a baptism of fire after signing for the San Francisco 49ers despite having never played a single game of American football.
That was a baptism of fire," said Simon Callow of his experience and Rolf Harris announced: "I'm going to lie down.
It's very hot, it's dry, there's sand, so it's a baptism of fire, but we have to start somewhere so let's hope that we finish," Fernandes said.
It will be a baptism of fire for some of the younger players but you need that sometimes.
He's only young, he's come in and had a baptism of fire but he handled it well at Liverpool and against Arsenal.
Around dawn, having closed his eyes for half an hour--his only rest in 24 hours--the former vice president, now the country's leader, faced a baptism of fire.
Scott Carson survived a baptism of fire in saving as many shots in one match as usually he would have to face in 10.
But the new boys could be handed a baptism of fire after the MCC announced a side brimming with class and experience.
But Brown, who has toured the county circuit with Warwickshire for over a decade, reckons the Scots could be in for a baptism of fire.
Hayes, groomed over the last two years for the tight-head role, knows he faces a baptism of fire against Scotland's British Lions pocket battleship Tom Smith, but will draw comfort from the company of his Munster team-mates.
Photo: UCLA freshman Baron Davis, right, guarding North Carolina's Ed Cota, received a baptism of fire.
Fast-moving Bristol City gave relegated Grimsby a baptism of fire.
And the 23-year-old got a baptism of fire as he came up against Trevor Sinclair and Les Ferdinand.
A NEW-BORN baby was given a baptism of fire when he made his way into the world - on the forecourt of Cardiff Central Fire Station.