To bless is to offer a holy seal of approval, like when a priest blesses water, making holy water. It’s also what people say when you sneeze: bless you, which is short for “may God bless you.”

If you go back far enough, the word bless is related to the word blood, because of the blood sprinkled on pagan alters. It moved on to mean “to praise,” and now it’s a little of both (minus the pagans). In religious contexts, things are made holy when they're blessed. Also, people are blessed by good things that happen. People often say things like "I've been blessed with good health.” That means they were lucky to receive such good things.

Definitions of bless
  1. verb
    make the sign of the cross over someone in order to call on God for protection; consecrate
    synonyms: sign
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    type of:
    gesticulate, gesture, motion
    show, express or direct through movement
  2. verb
    render holy by means of religious rites
    synonyms: consecrate, hallow, sanctify
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    deconsecrate, desecrate, unhallow
    remove the consecration from a person or an object
    consecrate anew, as after a desecration
    type of:
    state emphatically and authoritatively
  3. verb
    give a benediction to
    “The dying man blessed his son”
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    anathemise, anathemize, bedamn, beshrew, curse, damn, imprecate, maledict
    wish harm upon; invoke evil upon
    anele, anoint, embrocate, inunct, oil
    administer an oil or ointment to ; often in a religious ceremony of blessing
    type of:
    arouse, bring up, call down, call forth, conjure, conjure up, evoke, invoke, put forward, raise, stir
    summon into action or bring into existence, often as if by magic
  4. verb
    confer prosperity or happiness on
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    type of:
    bestow, confer
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