Bless v. t. [imp. & p. p. Blessed or Blest; p. pr. & vb. n. Blessing.]
1. To make or pronounce holy; to consecrate
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it. --Gen. ii. 3.
2. 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. )
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. To make the sign of the cross upon; to cross (one's self). [Archaic]
6. To guard; to keep; to protect. [Obs.]
7. 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.
8. To esteem or account happy; to felicitate.
The nations shall bless themselves in him. --Jer. iv. 3.
9. To wave; to brandish. [Obs.]
And burning blades about their heads do bless. --Spenser.
Round his armed head his trenchant blade he blest. --Fairfax.
Note: ☞ 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.
v 1: give a benediction to; "The dying man blessed his son" [ant:
2: confer prosperity or happiness on
3: make the sign of the cross over someone in order to call on
God for protection; consecrate [syn: sign]
4: render holy by means of religious rites [syn: consecrate,
hallow, sanctify] [ant: desecrate]
(1.) God blesses his people when he bestows on them some gift
temporal or spiritual (Gen. 1:22; 24:35; Job 42:12; Ps. 45:2;
(2.) We bless God when we thank him for his mercies (Ps.
103:1, 2; 145:1, 2).
(3.) A man blesses himself when he invokes God's blessing
(Isa. 65:16), or rejoices in God's goodness to him (Deut. 29:19;
(4.) One blesses another when he expresses good wishes or
offers prayer to God for his welfare (Gen. 24:60; 31:55; 1 Sam.
2:20). Sometimes blessings were uttered under divine
inspiration, as in the case of Noah, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses
(Gen. 9:26, 27; 27:28, 29, 40; 48:15-20; 49:1-28; Deut. 33). The
priests were divinely authorized to bless the people (Deut.
10:8; Num. 6:22-27). We have many examples of apostolic
benediction (2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 6:23, 24; 2 Thess. 3:16, 18;
Heb. 13:20, 21; 1 Pet. 5:10, 11).
(5.) Among the Jews in their thank-offerings the master of the
feast took a cup of wine in his hand, and after having blessed
God for it and for other mercies then enjoyed, handed it to his
guests, who all partook of it. Ps. 116:13 refers to this custom.
It is also alluded to in 1 Cor. 10:16, where the apostle speaks
of the "cup of blessing."