from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A blessing; a benediction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A blessing; benediction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Blessing; beatitude; benediction.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Blessing; benediction.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a spoken blessing


Middle English, from Old French beneison, from Latin benedictiō, benedictiōn-, praising; see benediction.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English beneson, from Old French beneison, from Latin benedictio. First known use: 14th century. (Wiktionary)


  • Thus it is my holy benison to be employed by this excellent Lady and is why I am writing to you in this capacity.

    Ellis Weiner: Recent O'Donnell Fundraising Letter

  • In it, the Leader of the seder (usually a father, grandfather, or guest of honor) recites a series of God's blessings on the Jewish people, to which the assembled express thanks and proclaim that each benison, in and of itself, would have been "enough."

    Ellis Weiner: A Public Service from The Huffington Post: Dayenu 5766

  • Our Lady, my benison upon her, is also a noble person of long descent, and rightful heir of this place and barony, and she also loves her will; as for that matter, show me the woman who doth not.

    The Abbot

  • As, Shaun replied patly, with tootlepick tact too and a down of his dampers, to that I have the gumpower and, by the benison of Barbe, that is a lock to say with everything, my be-loved. —

    Finnegans Wake

  • With the benison of Big Tim Sullivan, Arnold had been involved in bookmaking, shylocking, and gambling enterprises since at least the turn of the century.

    May 2005: Nick Tosches on Arnold Rothstein

  • Poor old men! how could they be cordial with their sore consciences and shamed faces? how could they bid God bless him with hearty voices and a true benison, knowing, as they did, that their vile cabal had driven him from his happy home, and sent him in his old age to seek shelter under a strange roof-tree?

    The Warden

  • So when Babette, a “fan of Goddard, Planned Parenthood, and The Nation,” read a singles ad from a “SWM whose passions include Amnesty International, EarthFirst! and a free Tibet,” well, it sent hopeful little bells of benison cascading through her heart.

    Last Lullaby

  • And Zal answered her benison, and prayed that he might enter into nearer converse, for he was on the ground and she was on the roof.

    The Epic of Kings

  • The gods owe him their benison and support because, like them, he is old and a monarch.


  • Seven feet tall fully dressed, he was ready to go out among his people and seek the balm of their benison.

    Into the Thinking Kingdoms

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  • from essay "Jonathan Williams" by Guy Davenport

    January 19, 2010