Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A blessing.
  • noun An invocation of divine blessing, usually at the end of a church service.
  • noun Roman Catholic Church A short service consisting of prayers, the singing of a Eucharistic hymn, and the blessing of the congregation with the host.
  • noun An expression of good wishes.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of speaking well to or of; blessing.
  • noun An invocation of divine blessing, either by a private individual or a church official; specifically, in the Christian church generally, the form of blessing pronounced by the person officiating, at the close of divine service and on several other occasions, as marriages, the visitation of the sick, etc.
  • noun When the benediction is pronounced officially by a priest or clergyman, he usually stands with hands uplifted, and the congregation receive it with bowed heads. Illustrations of ancient benedictions are afforded by Gen. xxiv. 60 (a nuptial blessing); Gen. xxvii. 27–29 (a death-bed blessing); Num. vi. 24–27 (a priestly blessing). The apostolic benediction is that proceeding from the pope, and is either given personally, as at Rome, or by delegation in other parts of the world. See blessing.
  • noun The rite of instituting an abbot or an abbess, and of receiving the profession of a nun or of a religious knight.
  • noun An additional ceremony performed by a priest after the regular celebration of matrimony: called the nuptial benediction.
  • noun The ceremony by which things are set aside for sacred uses, as a church or vestments, bells, etc., or things for ordinary use are hallowed, as houses, etc.
  • noun The advantage conferred by blessing or the invocation of blessings.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of blessing.
  • noun A blessing; an expression of blessing, prayer, or kind wishes in favor of any person or thing; a solemn or affectionate invocation of happiness.
  • noun The short prayer which closes public worship.
  • noun (Eccl.) The form of instituting an abbot, answering to the consecration of a bishop.
  • noun (R. C. Ch.) A solemn rite by which bells, banners, candles, etc., are blessed with holy water, and formally dedicated to God.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A short invocation for divine help, blessing and guidance, usually after a church worship service.
  • noun The form of instituting an abbot, analogous to the consecration of a bishop.
  • noun A Roman Catholic rite by which bells, banners, candles, etc., are blessed with holy water and formally dedicated to God.

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

  • noun the act of praying for divine protection
  • noun a ceremonial prayer invoking divine protection

Etymologies

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

[Middle English benediccioun, from Old French benedicion, from Latin benedictiō, benedictiōn-, from benedictus, past participle of benedīcere, to bless : bene, well; see deu- in Indo-European roots + dīcere, to speak; see deik- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin bene ("well, good") + dictio ("speaking"), from dīcō ("speak").

Examples

Comments

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  • From the book White Oleander by Janet Fitch. pg.356

    "The Crystalline days of March, that rarest of seasons, came like a benediction, regal and scented with cedar and pine."

    November 1, 2010