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Etymology edit

From Middle English Johan þe Babtis, from Latin Iōannēs Baptista.

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Proper noun edit

John the Baptist

  1. A New Testament prophet who baptized Jesus and was subsequently executed by Herod Antipas.

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Noun edit

John the Baptist

  1. (figuratively) A harbinger or prophetic figure, often one initially ignored or rejected by others.
    • 1938 January 17, “Books: Keyserling”, in Time[1], volume 31, page 62:
      [] and praise such as Glenn Frank’s: “Keyserling may turn out to be a John the Baptist of a new Western civilization.”
    • 1956, Carlile Aylmer Macartney, October Fifteenth: A History of Modern Hungary, 1929–1945, volume 1, page 184:
      In 1935 Szálasi had been a lonely John the Baptist in Hungarian politics, the self-appointed leader of a tiny party, less than 500 strong, advocating an unpopular cause.
    • 2003 September 21, Frank Kermode, “‘Pieces of My Mind’”, in The New York Times[2]:
      Ellis makes Diaghilev a John the Baptist of a ‘classico-mathematical Renaissance’, and the notion that this was a renaissance of some kind or other was evidently in the air.

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