Word: benediction

Pronunciation: be-ni-DIK-shən

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: the utterance or bestowing of a blessing

Source: Oxford Dictionaries


The last Word of the Week post of 2013 ended the year with a word meaning farewell. So to open my 2014 vocabulary posts, I’ve decided to write about a similar word with a positive definition. Here’s to starting off the year with blessings in our hearts!

A “benediction” is the bestowing of a blessing, especially (though not exclusively) in a religious context. Similar to the origin of last week’s word, this one comes from the Latin verb benedicere, meaning “to wish well”. The roots of this word have both been mentioned in this segment before: the adverb bene “well” (as in “benevolent“) and the verb dicere “to say” (as in “valediction“).

Notably, “benediction” can also refer to the state of being blessed, or a formal invocation of blessedness. Because of its religious connotation, this word would probably fit best in a formal context, though I’m sure it could also be used as a simple reference to well-wishing. In the spirit of new beginnings, here’s a heartfelt “benediction” for you, dear readers! May 2014 be a blessed year for you all!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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