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See also: Bless



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

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English blessen, from Old English blētsian, blēdsian (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 blessed; to confer blessing upon.
  2. To make the sign of the cross upon; to cross (oneself).
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Holinshed to this entry?)
  3. To praise, or glorify; to extol for excellences.
    • Bible, Ps. ciii. 1
      Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
  4. To esteem or account happy; to felicitate.
    • Bible, Jer. iv. 3
      The nations shall bless themselves in him.
  5. (obsolete) To wave; to brandish.
    • Spenser
      And burning blades about their heads do bless.
    • Fairfax
      Round his armed head his trenchant blade he blest.
  6. (Perl programming, transitive, past tense only blessed) To turn (a reference) into an object.
  7. (archaic) To secure, defend, or preserve from.
    • Shakespeare
      Bless me from marrying a usurer.
    • Milton
      to bless the doors from nightly harm
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

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