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  • enPR: blĕs, IPA(key): /blɛs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛs

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English blessen, from Old English bletsian (to consecrate (with blood)), from Proto-Germanic *blōþisōną (to sprinkle, mark or hallow with blood), from *blōþą (blood), of uncertain origin, possibly from Proto-Indo-European *bʰleh₃- (to bloom). Cognate with Old Norse bleza (to bless) (whence Icelandic blessa), Old English blēdan (to bleed). More at bleed.


bless (third-person singular simple present blesses, present participle blessing, simple past and past participle blest or blessed)

  1. To make something holy by religious rite, sanctify
  2. To make the sign of the cross upon, so as to sanctify
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Holinshed to this entry?)
  3. To invoke divine favor upon
  4. To honor as holy, glorify; to extol for excellence.
    1611, King James Bible, Ps. ciii. 1
    Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
  5. To esteem or account happy; to felicitate.
    1611, King James Bible, Jer. iv. 2
    The nations shall bless themselves in him.
  6. (obsolete) To wave; to brandish.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Spenser
      And burning blades about their heads do bless.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Fairfax
      Round his armed head his trenchant blade he blest.
  7. (Perl programming, transitive, past tense only blessed) To turn (a reference) into an object.
  8. (archaic, with from) To secure, defend, or preserve from.
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

An ellipsis for an expression such as bless your heart.



  1. (Britain, informal) Used as an expression of endearment, or (ironically) belittlement.
    • 1998, "Peter Coffey", New Alternative View Of Atomic Structure, sci.chem, Usenet:
      Ah bless! You must be the welcoming committee for anyone who dares express ignorance.
    • 2000, "Hellraiser", a post in uk.people.teens, Usenet:
      oh bless. *hug* that is not true. nobody here bears a grudge against 13 year old dear or against you.
    • 2001, "Will", Am I still here?, uk.religion.pagan, Usenet:
      Aw bless... have white chocolate fudge muffin....a new batch.... made them last night after Nigella....





  1. goodbye, bye




Compare Danish blis, Swedish bläs, Old Norse blys, blesóttr.



  1. mask