Word of the Day: beatific
beatific (adjective) bee-uh-TIFF-ik
1 : of, possessing, or imparting a state of utmost bliss
2 : having a blissful appearance
angelic; blissful; cherubic; delightful; divine; elated; ethereal; euphoric; happy; heavenly; joyful; lovely; rapturous; saintly
“She was Italian, funny, a beatific tomboy, with just the hint of a lazy eye, and wore a pair of glasses that made me think of the wonders of the library.” — Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run, 2016
“Maybe it was the unexpected warmth of the gesture…. Maybe it was his response, the beatific expression on his face, eyes almost closed, head tilted toward her shoulder.… But when Michelle Obama hugged former President George W. Bush … at a ceremony to open the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the image quickly took flight online.” — Mark Landler, The New York Times, 26 Sept. 2016
Did You Know?
Beatific—which derives from Latin beatificus, meaning “making happy”—has graced the English language as a word describing things that impart consummate bliss since the 17th century. In theology, the phrase “beatific vision” gained meaning as an allusion to the direct sight of God enjoyed by the blessed in heaven. Today, the word more frequently describes a blissful look or appearance. A closely related word is beatitude, which can refer to a state of utmost bliss or to any of the declarations made by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
In researching today’s word, I found a plethora of religious images. While I do consider myself spiritual and I talk to him/her all the time, I am not religious. Filtering out the Judeo/Christian symbology was daunting. I think I managed it. What do you think?
When I think of this word, I think of the happy couple on their wedding day. The bride especially, wearing her emotions on her face and in her light-footed gait. I think of soaking in a deep hot bath, surrounded by bubbles, candles, and a glass or wine. Sharing the bath with a companion is optional. I think of lying in bed, post-coitus, reveling in the contentment permeating within every cell of your body. I think of standing over the crib or bed of your sleeping child. The child content in the instinct that no matter what, you will protect them and take care of them. I think of a quiet, summer morning, the air still, and dew just about to disappear for the day.
I could go on and on. Is there something you would like to share? I’m sure we would all enjoy reading the contributions.
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