ben·​i·​son ˈbe-nə-sən How to pronounce benison (audio)

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Benison and its synonym benediction share more than a common meaning; the two words come from the same root, the Latin benedicere, meaning "to bless." (Benedicere comes from the Latin bene dicere—"to speak well of"—a combination of the Latin bene, meaning "well," and dicere, "to say.") Of the two words, benediction is more common today, but benison has a longer history in English. Records show that benison has been used in our language since the 13th century, whereas benediction didn't appear in print until the 15th century.

Examples of benison in a Sentence

during the harbor festival the parish priest offered a benison for the local fishermen

Word History


Middle English beneson, from Anglo-French beneiçon, from Late Latin benediction-, benedictio

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of benison was in the 13th century


Dictionary Entries Near benison

Cite this Entry

“Benison.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


ben·​i·​son ˈben-ə-sən How to pronounce benison (audio)
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