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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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.

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 Like seraphs’ wings, these white flowers fan out beyond the edges of the canvas in a silent gesture of benediction. Colin B. Bailey, The New York Review of Books, "Suffering, Unfaltering Manet," 17 Nov. 2020 Carminati and a fellow priest recited the rite of the dead, with a Psalm and Scripture reading, and gave each coffin a final benediction and blessing with holy water. Maria Grazia Murru And Nicole Winfield, Star Tribune, "At virus milestone, Italian priest reflects on loss, lessons," 30 Sep. 2020 Dressed in his brown monk's robe, Father Michael Bertram, the pastor of Schaller's parish St. Francis of Assisi gave the opening prayer and benediction. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marker dedicated for World War II veteran killed in New Guinea and buried in unmarked grave for 71 years," 10 Sep. 2020 The moon rose over the mountain and Kay gave a kind of benediction. Beth Thames |, al, "Flowers, music, friends, starlight and one last summer," 9 Sep. 2020 Jackson was later invited to give the benediction at Trump’s 2017 presidential inauguration. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "Bishop Wayne T. Jackson's ministry expands along with his reach," 29 Aug. 2020 In Laos, as Buddhist monks in orange robes walk the dirt and asphalt streets of the capital, B-52 bombers rain free-world benediction upon the forests. Siddhartha Deb, The New Republic, "Héctor Tobar’s Radical Road Trip Novel," 25 Aug. 2020 Talib was among eight chaplains of different faiths who were selected by the Democratic convention organizers to either give an invocation or benediction this week. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, "Democratic convention to feature imam who called for release of convicted cop-killer," 19 Aug. 2020 Bishop Mariann Budde will deliver the benediction on Tuesday, the second night of the convention, according to a list shared with The Associated Press on Sunday before its public release. Elana Schor, Star Tribune, "Democrats tap array of faith leaders to speak at convention," 16 Aug. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for benediction

Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Benediction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for benediction


How to pronounce benediction (audio)

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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