The Meaning of Bliss: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of bliss? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word bliss, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word bliss mean?

According to Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary, the word bliss (pronounced blɪs) is a noun that refers to supreme happiness or joy. This is commonly associated with the joys of heaven or heaven itself. Heaven is commonly referred to as eternal bliss, and the joy of heaven is meant to bring people complete happiness. You may commonly hear the phrase wedded bliss, which is the perfect happiness that one is meant to attain after being married. This is also known as marital bliss or domestic bliss. Bliss is meant to refer to a great joy, and you may hear it in the phrases pure bliss, sheer bliss, or some other phrase that refers to a state of extreme happiness.

Many other languages also use words that mean bliss. You may notice that some of these words look and sound similar, or are cognates for each other. This is likely because they share a similar root. Usually, words of a similar origin will look and sound alie. This list of synonyms for the word bliss is provided by Word Sense.

  • Portuguese: júbilo‎ (masc.), gáudio‎ (masc.), êxtase‎ (fem.)
  • Finnish: onni‎, autuus‎
  • Slovak: blaženosť‎ (fem.)
  • Polish: błogość‎ (fem.)
  • Arabic: بَرَكَة‎ (fem.), سَعَادَة‎ (fem.)
  • Greek: ευδαιμονία‎ (fem.), μακαριότητα‎ (fem.)
  • German: Glückseligkeit‎ (fem.), Glück‎ (neut.)
  • Belarusian: асалода‎, блажэнства‎, благасць‎
  • Bulgarian: блаженство‎
  • Serbo-Croatian: блаженство‎ (neut.), blaženstvo‎ (neut.)
  • Bokmål: lykksalighet‎
  • Romanian: beatitudine‎ (fem.), euforie‎ (fem.), extaz‎ (neut.)
  • Macedonian: блаженство‎
  • Czech: blaženost‎ (fem.)
  • Russian: блаже́нство‎ (neut.)
  • Italian: beatitudine‎
  • Ukrainian: блаженство‎
  • Norwegian:
  • Chinese – Mandarin: 極樂‎, 极乐‎ (jílè), 喜悅‎, 喜悦‎ (xǐyuè), 福佑‎ (fúyòu), 幸福‎ (xìngfú)
  • Old Saxon: ōd‎ (neut.)
  • Old Church Slavonic: блажєньство‎
  • Spanish: euforia‎ (fem.), dicha‎ (fem.), beatitud‎ (fem.)
  • Urdu: آنند‎
  • Hindi: आनन्द‎
  • Turkish: mutluluk‎, huzur‎, erinç‎, gönül rahatlığı‎, dirlik‎
  • French: béatitude‎ (fem.), félicité‎ (fem.)
  • Slovene: blaženost‎ (fem.)
  • Dutch: gelukzaligheid‎ (fem.), verrukking‎ (fem.)
  • Old English: ēad‎ (neut.)
  • Japanese: 幸福‎ (こうふく, kōfuku), 至福‎ (しふく, shifuku)
  • Malay: kebahagiaan‎
  • Swedish: lycksalighet‎ (common), lycka‎ (common)
  • Persian: سعادت‎ (sa’âdat)

What is the origin of the word bliss?

According to Etymonline, the word bliss comes from the Old English blis or bliðs which meant merriment or happiness. This comes from the Proto-Germanic blithsjo which was also the source of the Old Saxon blidsea and blizza. These come from blithiz, which is also the origin of the word blithe. This was then attached onto the noun suffix tjo. This term was originally used to refer to earthly happiness but later took on the meaning of spiritual joy. This was influenced by a word that is not related in origin, but that sounds similar, bless. Related words include blissfulness, blissful and blithe.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word bliss?

There are many different words that have the same definition as the word bliss. These words are called synonyms. Synonyms are very useful if you want to avoid repeating yourself, or if you are looking to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word bliss is provided by Thesaurus

  • lightheartedness
  • ecstasy
  • well-being
  • cheerfulness
  • jubilation
  • beatitude
  • seventh heaven
  • playfulness
  • delirium
  • laughter
  • good spirits
  • enjoyment
  • elation
  • geniality
  • enchantment
  • gaiety
  • cheeriness
  • content
  • exuberance
  • glee
  • hilarity
  • paradise
  • mirth
  • good cheer
  • merriment
  • delectation
  • felicity
  • happiness
  • rejoicing
  • prosperity
  • contentment
  • vivacity
  • euphoria
  • hopefulness
  • delight
  • cheer
  • joviality
  • gladness
  • good humor
  • exhilaration
  • peace of mind
  • sanctity
  • blessedness
  • joy
  • optimism
  • pleasure

There are also numerous words that have the opposite definition of the word bliss. These are called antonyms. Antonyms are very useful to know if you are looking to grow your English vocabulary or learn more about English grammar. This list of antonyms for the word bliss is also provided by Thesaurus.

  • discomfort
  • despair
  • despondency
  • misery
  • agony
  • melancholy
  • torture
  • stitch
  • worriment
  • throe
  • squalor
  • grief
  • anguish
  • sorrow
  • anvil chorus
  • passion
  • suffering
  • bad news
  • hardship
  • dolor
  • headache
  • woe
  • torment
  • wretchedness
  • desolation
  • sadness
  • ache
  • worry
  • gloom
  • distress
  • blues
  • depression
  • twinge
  • unhappiness
  • hurting
  • pang
  • heartache

How can the word bliss be used in a sentence?

The word bliss can be used in many different ways to describe some state of extreme happiness or joy. In this first example, Marta has just returned from a long solo weekend away. She describes the trip to her coworker. 

Lily: How was your trip? Welcome back!

Marta: Thanks so much! Oh, it was amazing. I spent the whole weekend in the spa, in the pool, and on the beach. No kids, no husband, no phone ringing off the hook. It was total bliss.

Lily: You deserve it!

Here, Marta uses the term bliss to refer to her happy state on her vacation. In this next example, Lily is a newlywed and is talking to her single friend about married life.

Sara: So is it really bliss like everyone says?

Lily: There’s definitely a honeymoon phase, but for us nothing really feels that different! You hear people go on and on about marital bliss and how everything changed when you’re married but nothing really did for us. We lived together before we got married, we’ve been together for almost ten years. The only thing that’s different is our taxes!

Sara: Fair enough!

Here, Sara wonders if married life is really bliss like everyone says. Lily gives a real account of how she feels marriage has changed her relationship. 

Overall, the word bliss is used to refer to some state of extreme happiness. This is commonly used to refer to heaven as well as marriage. However, bliss can be used in a variety of contexts to refer to some state of joy and peace. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/bliss
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/misery
  3. https://www.wordsense.eu/bliss/
  4. https://www.etymonline.com/word/bliss#etymonline_v_13608
  5. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bliss
  6. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/bliss