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bless

bless / bles/ • v. [tr.] (of a priest) pronounce words in a religious rite, to confer or invoke divine favor upon; ask God to look favorably on: he blessed the dying man and anointed him. ∎  consecrate (something) by a religious rite, action, or spoken formula. ∎  (esp. in Christian Church services) call (God) holy; praise (God). ∎  (bless someone with) (of God or some notional higher power) endow (someone) with a particular cherished thing or attribute: God has blessed us with free will. ∎  express or feel gratitude to; thank: she silently blessed the premonition which had made her pack her best dress. ∎  used in expressions of surprise, endearment, gratitude, etc.: bless my soul, Alan, what are you doing? PHRASES: bless you! said to a person who has just sneezed. ORIGIN: Old English blēdsian, blētsian, based on blōd ‘blood’ (i.e., originally perhaps ‘mark or consecrate with blood’). The meaning was influenced by its being used to translate Latin benedicere ‘to praise, worship,’ and later by association with bliss.

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bless

bless A purely English formation. OE. blētsian, blëdsian, perh. f. blōðam BLOOD, the etymological meaning being ‘mark so as to hallow with blood’ the sense-development was influenced by its being used to translate L. benedīcere and Gr. eulogeîn in Christian use, and by its formal assoc. with bliss.

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bless

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