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[bles-ing] /ˈblɛs ɪŋ/
the act or words of a person who blesses.
a special favor, mercy, or benefit:
the blessings of liberty.
a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.
the invoking of God's favor upon a person:
The son was denied his father's blessing.
praise; devotion; worship, especially grace said before a meal:
The children took turns reciting the blessing.
approval or good wishes:
The proposed law had the blessing of the governor.
Origin of blessing
before 900; Middle English blessinge, -unge, Old English bletsung, bledsung. See bless, -ing1
2. advantage, boon, gain, profit, bounty.


[bles] /blɛs/
verb (used with object), blessed or blest, blessing.
to consecrate or sanctify by a religious rite; make or pronounce holy.
to request of God the bestowal of divine favor on:
Bless this house.
to bestow good of any kind upon:
a nation blessed with peace.
to extol as holy; glorify:
Bless the name of the Lord.
to protect or guard from evil (usually used as an interjection):
Bless you! Bless your innocent little heart!
to condemn or curse:
I'll be blessed if I can see your reasoning. Bless me if it isn't my old friend!
to make the sign of the cross over or upon:
The Pope blessed the multitude.
before 950; Middle English blessen, Old English blētsian, blēdsian to consecrate, orig. with blood, earlier *blōdisōian (blōd blood + -isō- derivational suffix + -ian v. suffix)
Related forms
blesser, noun
blessingly, adverb
outbless, verb (used with object), outblessed or outblest, outblessing.
prebless, verb (used with object)
1. exalt, hallow, glorify, magnify, beatify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blessing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Why not ask a blessing on the cup of bitterness as well as upon the cup of thanksgiving?

    Talks To Farmers Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • Andy accepted the house as a blessing and went straight toward it.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • I looked her boldly in the face, and, in the conventual manner, gave her my blessing.

    The Devil's Elixir E. T. A. Hoffmann
  • He went by quickly; and "the blessing of God on you," says he, and I could say nothing.

    Riders to the Sea J. M. Synge
  • That was the man on whom the blessing rested as a condition, not as a wish.

British Dictionary definitions for blessing


the act of invoking divine protection or aid
the words or ceremony used for this
a short prayer of thanksgiving before or after a meal; grace
(Judaism) Also called brachah, brocho
  1. a short prayer prescribed for a specific occasion and beginning "Blessed art thou, O Lord…"
  2. a section of the liturgy including a similar formula
approval; good wishes: her father gave his blessing to the marriage
the bestowal of a divine gift or favour
a happy event or state of affairs: a blessing in disguise


verb (transitive) blesses, blessing, blessed, blest
to consecrate or render holy, beneficial, or prosperous by means of a religious rite
to give honour or glory to (a person or thing) as divine or holy
to call upon God to protect; give a benediction to
to worship or adore (God); call or hold holy
(often passive) to grant happiness, health, or prosperity to: they were blessed with perfect peace
(usually passive) to endow with a talent, beauty, etc: she was blessed with an even temper
(rare) to protect against evil or harm
(interjection) bless!, an exclamation of well-wishing
(interjection) bless you!
  1. a traditional phrase said to a person who has just sneezed
  2. an exclamation of well-wishing or surprise
(interjection) bless me!, bless my soul!, God bless my soul!, an exclamation of surprise
not have a penny to bless oneself with, to be desperately poor
Word Origin
Old English blǣdsian to sprinkle with sacrificial blood; related to blōdblood
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blessing

Old English bletsunga, bledsunge; see bless. Meaning "gift from God" is from mid-14c. In sense of "religious invocation before a meal" it is recorded from 1738. Phrase blessing in disguise is recorded from 1746.



Old English bletsian, bledsian, Northumbrian bloedsian "to consecrate, make holy, give thanks," from Proto-Germanic *blodison "hallow with blood, mark with blood," from *blotham "blood" (see blood).

Originally a blood sprinkling on pagan altars. This word was chosen in Old English bibles to translate Latin benedicere and Greek eulogein, both of which have a ground sense of "to speak well of, to praise," but were used in Scripture to translate Hebrew brk "to bend (the knee), worship, praise, invoke blessings." Meaning shifted in late Old English toward "pronounce or make happy," by resemblance to unrelated bliss. No cognates in other languages. Related: Blessed; blessing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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blessing in the Bible

(1.) God blesses his people when he bestows on them some gift temporal or spiritual (Gen. 1:22; 24:35; Job 42:12; Ps. 45:2; 104:24, 35). (2.) We bless God when we thank him for his mercies (Ps. 103:1, 2; 145:1, 2). (3.) A man blesses himself when he invokes God's blessing (Isa. 65:16), or rejoices in God's goodness to him (Deut. 29:19; Ps. 49:18). (4.) One blesses another when he expresses good wishes or offers prayer to God for his welfare (Gen. 24:60; 31:55; 1 Sam. 2:20). Sometimes blessings were uttered under divine inspiration, as in the case of Noah, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses (Gen. 9:26, 27; 27:28, 29, 40; 48:15-20; 49:1-28; Deut. 33). The priests were divinely authorized to bless the people (Deut. 10:8; Num. 6:22-27). We have many examples of apostolic benediction (2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 6:23, 24; 2 Thess. 3:16, 18; Heb. 13:20, 21; 1 Pet. 5:10, 11). (5.) Among the Jews in their thank-offerings the master of the feast took a cup of wine in his hand, and after having blessed God for it and for other mercies then enjoyed, handed it to his guests, who all partook of it. Ps. 116:13 refers to this custom. It is also alluded to in 1 Cor. 10:16, where the apostle speaks of the "cup of blessing."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with blessing


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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