bene·​dic·​tion | \ ˌbe-nə-ˈdik-shən How to pronounce benediction (audio) \

Definition of benediction

1 religion : the invocation (see invocation sense 1a) of a blessing a prayer of benediction especially : the short blessing with which public worship is concluded dismissed the congregation with a benediction
2 : something that promotes goodness or well-being … the Mexican sun is no pleasant benediction like our northern sun …— Gertrude Diamant
3 often capitalized, Christianity : a Roman Catholic or Anglo-Catholic devotion (see devotion sense 1c) including the exposition of the eucharistic Host in the monstrance and the blessing of the people with it
4 : an expression of good wishes … yearning for the benediction of the New York critics …Time

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Synonyms & Antonyms for benediction



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In benediction, the bene root is joined by another Latin root, dictio, "speaking", so the word's meaning becomes something like "well-wishing". Perhaps the best-known benediction is the so-called Aaronic Benediction from the Bible, which begins, "May the Lord bless you and keep you". An important section of the Catholic Mass was traditionally known as the Benedictus, after its first word (meaning "blessed"). It was St. Benedict who organized the first Christian monasteries; many Christians have been baptized Benedict in his honor, and 16 popes have taken it as their papal name.

Examples of benediction in a Sentence

He dismissed the congregation with a benediction. the priest offered a benediction for the missing children
Recent Examples on the Web Tim Findley, mayoral candidate and Senior Pastor of Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center, closed Saturday with a benediction and call-and-response. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, 6 June 2021 Bishop Sean Daniels, who lost his brother on the battlefield, delivered a benediction after a wreath-laying ceremony. Lara Farrar, Arkansas Online, 1 June 2021 The ceremony will conclude with benediction, and the retiring of the Colors by the American Legion Harford Post 39 Color Guard. S. Wayne Carter Jr.,, 26 May 2021 How sad Shelton did not live long enough to see the cultural benediction. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 24 May 2021 Following the Eagle Scout Charge and special presentation address from Eagle Scout Aidan Kocab, the ceremony concluded with a benediction and outdoor reception. Sam Boyer, cleveland, 21 May 2021 As the 35-year circus veteran finished his fittingly appropriate benediction at sun-splashed Calvary Cemetery here the other day, mourners politely applauded., 12 May 2021 Marty was a pastor who provided spiritual nourishment by living and preaching the Word of God, celebrating the Holy Eucharist, offering gentleness, affirmation, peace, and benediction upon all who encountered him., 24 Apr. 2021 Chavez put her head down during the closing benediction and touched her palms together in prayer. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Apr. 2021

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

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First Known Use of benediction

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for benediction

Middle English benediccioun, from Late Latin benediction-, benedictio, from benedicere to bless, from Latin, to speak well of, from bene well (akin to Latin bonus good) + dicere to say — more at bounty, diction

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Time Traveler for benediction

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The first known use of benediction was in the 15th century

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Statistics for benediction

Last Updated

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Benediction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for benediction



English Language Learners Definition of benediction

: a prayer that asks for God's blessing


bene·​dic·​tion | \ ˌbe-nə-ˈdik-shən How to pronounce benediction (audio) \

Kids Definition of benediction

1 : a short blessing said especially at the end of a religious service
2 : an expression of good wishes


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