noun (1)
ben·​e·​dict | \ ˈbe-nə-ˌdikt How to pronounce benedict (audio) \

Definition of benedict

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: a newly married man who has long been a bachelor


noun (2)
variants: or less commonly benedict
plural Benedicts or benedicts

Definition of Benedict (Entry 2 of 4)

: eggs Benedict or a variation on eggs Benedict made with one or more different ingredients Its specialty is eggs, ranging from omelets, frittatas and Benedicts, to fried and poached.The New York Times On the menu: For breakfast and brunch, sweet and savory crepes, five varieties of benedicts … and four kinds of French toast.— Shonda Talerico Dudlicek … the nearly 100 recipes—one for a baked oyster and wild mushroom casserole, one for oysters with pancetta and leeks, one for oysters Benedict— Peggy Brawley


biographical name (1)
Ben·​e·​dict | \ ˈbe-nə-ˌdikt How to pronounce Benedict (audio) \

Definition of Benedict (Entry 3 of 4)

name of 16 popes: especially XIV (Prospero Lambertini) 1675–1758 (pope 1740–58); XV (Giacomo della Chiesa) 1854–1922 (pope 1914–22); XVI ( Joseph Alois Ratzinger \ ˈrät-​siŋ-​ər \ ) 1927–     (pope 2005–13)


biographical name (2)

Definition of Benedict (Entry 4 of 4)

Ruth 1887–1948 née Fulton American anthropologist

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Did You Know?

Benedick is the chief male character in Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing. Throughout the play, both Benedick and his female counterpart Beatrice exchange barbed comments and profess to detest the very idea of marriage, but the story eventually culminates in their marriage to each other. As a result, Benedick's name came to be applied to men who marry later in life. The spelling was changed to benedict, possibly by association with a use of benedict meaning "bachelor" (although the evidence for this use is scant). Some early 20th-century usage commentators regarded the respelling as incorrect with regard to the etymology, but benedict has become the established spelling nevertheless. These days "benedict" is fairly uncommon and most typically encountered in historical sources and references.

Examples of benedict in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yet one London restaurant promises to make the weekend dining ritual—one more commonly associated with eggs benedict and mimosas—just that. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "London's Sexy Fish Is Trying to Make Brunch...Sexy?," 4 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'benedict.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of benedict

Noun (1)

1821, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1984, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for benedict

Noun (1)

alteration of Benedick, character in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

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The first known use of benedict was in 1821

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Cite this Entry

“Benedict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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