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

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 At the end of the ceremony, Senior Pastor Kevin Crow of Harvest Ridge Church gave the benediction, TAPS was played and the VFW performed their volley across the football field. Linda Gandee, cleveland, 13 Sep. 2021 During the recent visit, the men conducted the ancient blessing, in which priests make V’s with each hand, spreading their ring and middle fingers, and quietly recited a special benediction, while others performed surreptitious bows while praying. Ilan Ben Zion, ajc, 25 Aug. 2021 The National Anthem will also be performed, as well as a benediction. Steve Smith,, 1 Sep. 2021 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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Benediction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on benediction

Nglish: Translation of benediction for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about benediction


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