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gracious

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adjective gra·cious \ˈgrā-shəs\

Simple Definition of gracious

  • : very polite in a way that shows respect

  • : having or showing the attractive things (such as charm, good taste, and comfort) that are associated with having a lot of money

  • —used as an interjection to express mild surprise or for emphasis

Full Definition of gracious

  1. 1 a obsolete :  godly b archaic :  pleasing, acceptable

  2. 2 a :  marked by kindness and courtesy <a gracious host> b :  graceful c :  marked by tact and delicacy :  urbane d :  characterized by charm, good taste, generosity of spirit, and the tasteful leisure of wealth and good breeding <gracious living>

  3. 3 :  merciful, compassionate —used conventionally of royalty and high nobility

gra·cious·ly adverb
gra·cious·ness noun

Examples of gracious

  1. Phoebe closed her eyes, seeing her father moving like a shadow among his guests, gracious, smiling, pouring wine and exchanging greetings. —Judith Berry Griffin, Phoebe the Spy, 1977

  2. The reception started in orderly enough fashion—gracious and leisurely. Paula Locker, the President of the Club, met me at the door, and I took my place in line with her, with Fishbait Miller doing the introducing. —Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, 1970

  3. If there are not too many in the group, you might inquire solicitously about their health. If you are in a particularly gracious mood, you might even give them a brief resume of your physical condition. —Groucho Marx, letter of 15 Nov. 1951 in The Groucho Letters1987

  4. This is not a surprise given the welcome, gracious atmosphere, the uncommon competence of the kitchen, with its familiar Little Italy Italian menu … and the restaurant's credible wine list. —Mark Bittman, New York Times, 26 June 2002

  5. Thank you for your gracious hospitality.

  6. The magazine promotes gracious living.



Origin of gracious

Middle English, from Anglo-French gracieus, from Latin gratiosus enjoying favor, agreeable, from gratia


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of gracious

gracious, cordial, affable, genial, sociable mean markedly pleasant and easy in social intercourse. gracious implies courtesy and kindly consideration <the gracious award winner thanked her colleagues>. cordial stresses warmth and heartiness <our host was cordial as he greeted us>. affable implies easy approachability and readiness to respond pleasantly to conversation or requests or proposals <though wealthy, she was affable to all>. genial stresses cheerfulness and even joviality <a genial companion with a ready quip>. sociable suggests a genuine liking for the companionship of others <sociable people who enjoy entertaining>.

Rhymes with gracious



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