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Is there any difference in meaning or usage when pronouncing "blessed" with two syllables rather than one syllable?

Two: bles-id [blɛsəd]

One: blest [blɛst]

33

We reference the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

Blessed can be an adjective meaning holy, in which case it is pronounced with two syllables: Blessed is the name of the Lord.

Blessed can also be the past tense of the verb bless, in which case it is pronounced with one syllable: The priest blessed the bread.

  • I like this answer. Totally agree. – Jimi Oke Dec 17 '10 at 23:36
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    I would also like to add that blessed can be pronounced as one syllable, even as adjective, e.g. I am blessed, This college is blessed with so much talent, etc. – Jimi Oke Dec 18 '10 at 7:05
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    There are other words that have two different forms like this: e.g. learned, wretched, dogged. – Kosmonaut Dec 18 '10 at 16:51
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    Jimi Oke - "is blessed" and "am blessed" in your examples are perfect verb forms, not adjectives. – SingLow Mar 22 '11 at 16:00
  • @SingLow Perfect? You mean passive. – Aeon Akechi Jul 28 '16 at 0:22
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One syllable is the present passive participle of to bless. Two syllables is a pure adjective. The adjective connotes an innate property of blessedness, but the passive participle indicates that it is a result of external action.

One syllable, "Blessed by the sermon on Sunday, the congregation shouted many amens."

Two syllables, "The preacher delivered a blessed message on Sunday."

2

There's no real difference in meaning so far as I know.

Pronouncing the second syllable sounds archaic, I've only heard it used in recitations of old poetry or in clichés presumably derived from old literature of that sort.

  • 2
    Or hymns, of course. – mmyers Dec 17 '10 at 23:33

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