Statue of a pope holding out his hand as if to bless.
- An example of to bless is a seat belt saving the life of a person in a horrible accident, to bless with safety.
- An example of to bless is a minister asking God to heal a sick person, bless this sick person.
- An example of to bless is gifting items to a family in need, to bless with gifts.
transitive verbblessed or blest, bless′ing
- to make or declare holy by a spoken formula or a sign; hallow; consecrate
- to ask divine favor for: the minister blessed the congregation
- to favor or endow (with): to be blessed with eloquence
- to make happy or prosperous; gladden: he blessed us with his leadership
- to think (oneself) happy; congratulate (oneself)
- to praise or glorify: to bless the Lord
- to make the sign of the cross over or upon
- to keep or protect from harm, evil, etc.: obsolete, except in prayers, exclamations, etc.
Origin of blessMiddle English blessen, bletsien from Old English bletsian, bledsian from blod, blood: rite of consecration by sprinkling an altar with blood
transitive verbblessed, or blest bless·ing, bless·es
- To make holy by religious rite; sanctify: The clergy blessed the site for the new monastery.
- To invoke divine favor upon: The bishop blessed the fishing fleet.
- To make the sign of the cross over: She knelt and blessed herself.
- To honor as holy; glorify: Bless the Lord.
- To confer well-being or prosperity on: They were blessed with a baby girl.
- To endow, as with talent: He was blessed with a photographic memory.
Origin of blessMiddle English blessen from Old English blētsian to consecrate ; see bhel-3 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present blesses, present participle blessing, simple past and past participle blest or blessed)
From Middle English blessen, from Old English blētsian, blēdsian (“to consecrate (with blood)”), from Proto-Germanic *blōþisōną (“to sprinkle, mark or hallow with blood”), from *blōþą (“blood”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhlo-to- (“to gush, spurt”), from *bhol-, *bhlē-dh-, *bhlō(w)- (“to thrive, flourish, bloom”). Cognate with Old Norse bletza (“to bless”) (whence Icelandic blessa), Old English blēdan (“to bleed”). More at bleed.
- (UK, informal) Used as an expression of endearment, or (ironically) belittlement.
An ellipsis for an expression such as bless your heart