blessing

[bles-ing]
noun
1.
the act or words of a person who blesses.
2.
a special favor, mercy, or benefit: the blessings of liberty.
3.
a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.
4.
the invoking of God's favor upon a person: The son was denied his father's blessing.
5.
praise; devotion; worship, especially grace said before a meal: The children took turns reciting the blessing.
6.
approval or good wishes: The proposed law had the blessing of the governor.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English blessinge, -unge, Old English bletsung, bledsung. See bless, -ing1


2. advantage, boon, gain, profit, bounty.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

bless

[bles]
verb (used with object), blessed or blest, blessing.
1.
to consecrate or sanctify by a religious rite; make or pronounce holy.
2.
to request of God the bestowal of divine favor on: Bless this house.
3.
to bestow good of any kind upon: a nation blessed with peace.
4.
to extol as holy; glorify: Bless the name of the Lord.
5.
to protect or guard from evil (usually used interjectionally): Bless you! Bless your innocent little heart!
6.
to condemn or curse: I'll be blessed if I can see your reasoning. Bless me if it isn't my old friend!
7.
to make the sign of the cross over or upon: The Pope blessed the multitude.

Origin:
before 950; Middle English blessen, Old English blētsian, blēdsian to consecrate, orig. with blood, earlier *blōdisōian (blōd blood + -isō- derivational suffix + -ian v. suffix)

blesser, noun
blessingly, adverb
outbless, verb (used with object), outblessed or outblest, outblessing.
prebless, verb (used with object)


1. exalt, hallow, glorify, magnify, beatify.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
bless (blɛs)
 
vb , blesses, blessing, blessed, blest
1.  to consecrate or render holy, beneficial, or prosperous by means of a religious rite
2.  to give honour or glory to (a person or thing) as divine or holy
3.  to call upon God to protect; give a benediction to
4.  to worship or adore (God); call or hold holy
5.  (often passive) to grant happiness, health, or prosperity to: they were blessed with perfect peace
6.  (usually passive) to endow with a talent, beauty, etc: she was blessed with an even temper
7.  rare to protect against evil or harm
8.  (interjection) bless! an exclamation of well-wishing
9.  (interjection) bless you!
 a.  a traditional phrase said to a person who has just sneezed
 b.  an exclamation of well-wishing or surprise
10.  (interjection) bless me!, bless my soul!, God bless my soul! an exclamation of surprise
11.  not have a penny to bless oneself with to be desperately poor
 
[Old English blǣdsian to sprinkle with sacrificial blood; related to blōdblood]

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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bless
O.E. bletsian, bledsian, Northumbrian bloedsian "to consecrate, make holy, give thanks," from P.Gmc. *blothisojan "mark with blood," from *blotham "blood" (see blood). Originally a blood sprinkling on pagan altars. This word was chosen in O.E. bibles to translate L. benedicere
and Gk. eulogein, both of which have a ground sense of "to speak well of, to praise," but were used in Scripture to translate Heb. brk "to bend (the knee), worship, praise, invoke blessings." Meaning shifted in late O.E. toward "pronounce or make happy," by resemblance to unrelated bliss. No cognates in other languages.

blessing
O.E. 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Bless definition


(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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

blessing

In addition to the idiom beginning with blessing, also see give thanks for small blessings; mixed blessing.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

blessing

a verbal blessing of persons or things, commonly applied to invocations pronounced in God's name by a priest or minister, usually at the conclusion of a religious service. The Aaronic benediction (Num. 6:24-26) was incorporated by Luther into his German Mass and is preserved by modern Lutherans because of its impressive dignity; it is also used in the Mozarabic liturgy of Spain before the reception of the Host. The Swedish liturgy appends a trinitarian formula to this same benediction. Some Christian churches, however, prefer the Pauline benediction (II Cor. 13:14).

Learn more about blessing with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The new tool will be a bane to teaching, some professors say-but others see a
  blessing.
However, what is a blessing for the atmosphere turns out to be a curse for the
  oceans.
So it was a mixed blessing being with them from a point of view of personal
  protection or danger.
Before the family ate, we'd all hold hands and bow our heads while
  someone-usually my father, a pastor-said a blessing.
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