noun bene·dic·tion \ ˌbe-nə-ˈdik-shən \
|Updated on: 16 Jul 2018

Definition of benediction

1 religion : the invocation (see invocation 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 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

Examples of benediction in a Sentence

  1. He dismissed the congregation with a benediction.

  2. the priest offered a benediction for the missing children

Recent Examples of benediction from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Other Christian Religious Terms

BENEDICTION Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of benediction for English Language Learners

  • : a prayer that asks for God's blessing

BENEDICTION Defined for Kids


noun bene·dic·tion \ ˌbe-nə-ˈdik-shən \

Definition of benediction for Students

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

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excessive admiration or flattery

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