especially: the short blessing with which public worship is concluded
dismissed the congregation with a benediction
: something that promotes goodness or well-being
… the Mexican sun is no pleasant benediction like our northern sun …—Gertrude Diamant
often capitalizedChristianity: a Roman Catholic or Anglo-Catholic devotion (see devotionsense 1c) including the exposition of the eucharistic Host in the monstrance and the blessing of the people with it
: an expression of good wishes
… yearning for the benediction of the New York critics …—Time
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.
He dismissed the congregation with a benediction.
the priest offered a benediction for the missing children
Recent Examples on the WebThe ceremony will include an invocation and benediction from Liturgical Deacon Charles E. Barnhart, Jr., as well as a wreath laying.—Staff, Baltimore Sun, 8 Sep. 2023 Advertisement On Wednesday, Herman Fillmore of the Washoe Tribe offered a benediction celebrating land his people value so much, as three paddle boards languidly floated behind him, three people in kayaks passed by and three jet skis zoomed along in the distance.—Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, 9 Aug. 2023 Thousands of Jewish worshippers gathered at the city’s Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray, for a mass priestly benediction prayer service for the Passover holiday.—Ilan Ben Zion, Chicago Tribune, 9 Apr. 2023 The strikes on the Christian holy day of Easter came hours before thousands of Jewish worshippers gathered at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray, for a mass priestly benediction prayer service for the Passover holiday.—Lawahez Jabari, NBC News, 9 Apr. 2023 Thousands of Jewish worshipers gathered at the city’s Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray, for a mass priestly benediction prayer service for the Passover holiday.—Ilan Ben Zion, BostonGlobe.com, 9 Apr. 2023 Thousands of Jewish worshippers gathered at the city's Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray, for a mass priestly benediction prayer service for the Passover holiday.—Ilan Ben Zion, ajc, 9 Apr. 2023 My instructor — her rare smiles like benedictions — says swimming is all about the balance between holding tight and letting go.—Purnima Mani, Good Housekeeping, 22 July 2023 This night and this project would be more than a benediction.—Holly Gleason, Variety, 2 June 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'benediction.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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
: the short blessing at the end of a religious service
Middle English benediccioun "an expression of blessing or good wishes," from Latin benediction-, benedictio (same meaning), from benedicere "to bless," from earlier bene dicere "to praise, speak well," from bene "well" and dicere "to say" — related to dictate