Bless (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Blessed (#) or Blest; p. pr. & vb. n. Blessing.] [OE. blessien, bletsen, AS. bletsian, bledsian, bloedsian, fr. bld blood; prob. originally to consecrate by sprinkling with blood. See Blood.]


To make or pronounce holy; to consecrate

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it. Gen. ii. 3.


To make happy, blithesome, or joyous; to confer prosperity or happiness upon; to grant divine favor to.

The quality of mercy is . . . twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. Shak.

It hath pleased thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue forever before thee. 1 Chron. xvii. 27 (R. V. )


To express a wish or prayer for the happiness of; to invoke a blessing upon; -- applied to persons.

Bless them which persecute you. Rom. xii. 14.


To invoke or confer beneficial attributes or qualities upon; to invoke or confer a blessing on, -- as on food.

Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them. Luke ix. 16.


To make the sign of the cross upon; to cross (one's self).




To guard; to keep; to protect.



To praise, or glorify; to extol for excellences.

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Ps. ciii. 1.


To esteem or account happy; to felicitate.

The nations shall bless themselves in him. Jer. iv. 3.


To wave; to brandish.


And burning blades about their heads do bless. Spenser.

Round his armed head his trenchant blade he blest. Fairfax.

⇒ This is an old sense of the word, supposed by Johnson, Nares, and others, to have been derived from the old rite of blessing a field by directing the hands to all parts of it. "In drawing [their bow] some fetch such a compass as though they would turn about and bless all the field."


Bless me! Bless us! an exclamation of surprise. Milton. -- To bless from, to secure, defend, or preserve from. "Bless me from marrying a usurer." Shak.

To bless the doors from nightly harm. Milton.

-- To bless with, To be blessed with, to favor or endow with; to be favored or endowed with; as, God blesses us with health; we are blessed with happiness.


© Webster 1913.