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

Synonyms for blessing



verb (used with object), blessed or blest, bless·ing.

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.

Origin of bless

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 formsbless·er, nounbless·ing·ly, adverbout·bless, verb (used with object), out·blessed or out·blest, out·bles·sing.pre·bless, verb (used with object)

Synonyms for bless Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blessing

Contemporary Examples of blessing

Historical Examples of blessing

  • I think this blessing comes from the Divine, by reason of the innocence of his life.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • "It is a blessing that any of it is disposed of while you are not here," said Aunt Jane.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Andy accepted the house as a blessing and went straight toward it.

  • The day which his Maker intended as a blessing, man has converted into a curse.

  • In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God.

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
Also called: brachah, brocho Judaism
  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 wishesher father gave his blessing to the marriage
the bestowal of a divine gift or favour
a happy event or state of affairsa blessing in disguise


verb blesses, blessing, blessed or blest (tr)

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 tothey were blessed with perfect peace
(usually passive) to endow with a talent, beauty, etcshe was blessed with an even temper
rare to protect against evil or harm
bless! (interjection) an exclamation of well-wishing
bless you! (interjection)
  1. a traditional phrase said to a person who has just sneezed
  2. an exclamation of well-wishing or surprise
bless me!, bless my soul! or God bless my soul! (interjection) an exclamation of surprise
not have a penny to bless oneself with to be desperately poor

Word Origin for bless

Old English blǣdsian to sprinkle with sacrificial blood; related to blōd blood
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

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

Idioms and Phrases with blessing


In addition to the idiom beginning with blessing

  • blessing in disguise

also see:

  • give thanks for small blessings
  • mixed blessing
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.