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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), from Proto-Indo-European *bhlo-to- (to gush, spurt), from *bhol-, *bhlē-dh-, *bhlō(w)- (to thrive, flourish, bloom). Cognate with Old Norse bletza (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 esteem or account happy; to felicitate.
    • Bible, Jer. iv. 3
      The nations shall bless themselves in him.
  4. (obsolete) To wave; to brandish.
    • Spenser
      And burning blades about their heads do bless.
    • Fairfax
      Round his armed head his trenchant blade he blest.
  5. (Perl programming, transitive) (past tense only blessed) To turn (a reference) into an object.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

An ellipsis for an expression such as bless your heart



  1. (UK, informal) Used as an expression of endearment, or (ironically) belittlement.
    • 1998, "Peter Coffey", New Alternative View Of Atomic Structure (on Internet newsgroup sci.chem)
      Ah bless! You must be the welcoming committee for anyone who dares express ignorance.
    • 2000, "Hellraiser" (on Internet newsgroup uk.people.teens)
      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? (on Internet newsgroup uk.religion.pagan)
      Aw bless... have white chocolate fudge muffin....a new batch.... made them last night after Nigella....





  1. goodbye, bye