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).
6. To guard; to keep; to protect.
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. 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. To bless from, to secure, defend, or preserve from. Bless me from marrying a usurer. 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.
Origin: oe. Blessien, bletsen, as. Bletsian, bledsian, bloedsian, fr. Bld blood; prob. Originally to consecrate by sprinkling with blood. See blood.