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 ?
In a fresh reading of John the Baptist's words "He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire" (Matthew 3:11), McManigal argues that the future baptism as conceived by Matthew is not the gift of Pentecost, is not separate baptisms for the good and the evil, and is not a baptism of fire through which all must pass.
'This (fire) is a baptism of fire of our MOA,' she said.
"It has been a baptism of fire for some of the lads because they've had to play more rugby than we'd have liked at this stage of their career," Protherough added.
Schmidt said: "It's a bit of a baptism of fire; it's probably not ideal.
The ex-Hearts ace, 29, has joined Dee until the summer and is set for a baptism of fire in the topof-the-table clash with Hamilton tomorrow.
"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.
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. Should he go forward with his predecessor's surprise decision, announced two weeks earlier, to adopt the U.S.
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 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.
Fast-moving Bristol City gave relegated Grimsby a baptism of fire.
3,1960, I was baptized again, a baptism of fire. My family and I crossed the waters of the Atlantic to the safety of Miami, Florida, crossed from the frying pan of Castro's revolution into the fire of cultural and prejudicial shock.