1. A blessing.
2. An invocation of divine blessing, usually at the end of a church service.
3. often Benediction Roman Catholic Church A short service consisting of prayers, the singing of a Eucharistic hymn, and the blessing of the congregation with the host.
4. An expression of good wishes.
[Middle English benediccioun, from Old French benedicion, from Latin benedictiō, benedictiōn-, from benedictus, past participle of benedīcere, to bless : bene, well; see deu-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + dīcere, to speak; see deik- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
ben′e·dictive, ben′e·dicto·ry (-dĭktə-rē) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.