\ ˈgrās How to pronounce grace (audio) \

Definition of grace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b : a virtue coming from God
c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance
2a : approval, favor stayed in his good graces
b archaic : mercy, pardon
c : a special favor : privilege each in his place, by right, not grace, shall rule his heritage— Rudyard Kipling
d : disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
e : a temporary exemption : reprieve
3a : a charming or attractive trait or characteristic Among disagreeable qualities he possessed the saving grace of humor.
b : a pleasing appearance or effect : charm all the grace of youth— John Buchan
c : ease and suppleness (see supple entry 1 sense 2b) of movement or bearing danced with such grace
4 used as a title of address or reference for a duke, a duchess, or an archbishop
5 : a short prayer at a meal asking a blessing or giving thanks
6 Graces plural : three sister goddesses in Greek mythology who are the givers of charm and beauty
7 : a musical trill, turn, or appoggiatura
8a : sense of propriety or right had the grace not to run for elective office— Calvin Trillin
b : the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful accepted his advice with grace


graced; gracing

Definition of grace (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to confer dignity or honor on The king graced him with the rank of a knight.
2 : adorn, embellish graveled walks graced with statues— J. A. Michener

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Choose the Right Synonym for grace


mercy, charity, clemency, grace, leniency mean a disposition to show kindness or compassion. mercy implies compassion that forbears punishing even when justice demands it. threw himself on the mercy of the court charity stresses benevolence and goodwill shown in broad understanding and tolerance of others. show a little charity for the less fortunate clemency implies a mild or merciful disposition in one having the power or duty of punishing. the judge refused to show clemency grace implies a benign attitude and a willingness to grant favors or make concessions. by the grace of God leniency implies lack of severity in punishing. criticized the courts for excessive leniency

Examples of grace in a Sentence

Noun She walked across the stage with effortless grace. She handles her problems with grace and dignity. He has shown remarkable grace during this crisis. She is quite lovable despite her lack of social graces. Let us give thanks for God's grace. By the grace of God, no one was seriously hurt. She tried to live her life in God's grace. Verb Several marble statues grace the courtyard. I hope that you will grace our gathering with your presence.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The night’s touch of grace, though, is in the invitation to a few dozen frontline workers and their families. New York Times, "This New Year’s Eve, Times Square Will Be Filled With Hope. But Not People.," 30 Dec. 2020 One moment of grace came in late April with the virtual 90th birthday concert for Stephen Sondheim. Jake Coyle,, "Performing in the pandemic, by Zoom, drive-in and doorstep," 22 Dec. 2020 And that acts of grace should not be disdained as concessions to evil. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "The Great American Divorce?," 21 Dec. 2020 Anytime Swift sings about family, listen close because that’s when her songwriting reaches its most undeniable state of grace. Washington Post, "Taylor Swift just can’t help herself," 11 Dec. 2020 At this Atlanta public school, third grade teacher Ms. Rogers leads with grace. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Good morning, sweet girl’: A day in the life of an online teacher," 21 Dec. 2020 During this process, Mr. Biden has mostly struck grace notes. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Biden Needs a Conciliatory Tone," 16 Dec. 2020 The sharpest visual grace notes say a lot, wordlessly, as when two characters duck into a Polish deli for a Coca-Cola for Ma Rainey, and the wall of scowling white faces turns them back around on a dime. Michael Phillips,, "‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ review: In 1927 Chicago, Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis and August Wilson play glorious three-part harmony," 20 Nov. 2020 Spain plans to extend grace periods for credits from state lender ICO at its cabinet meeting next week, Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said in an online forum., "World Clamps Down as Covid-19 Refuses to Cede: Virus Update," 13 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Rand now must fill the 12 hotel rooms that grace every floor. Dee Depass Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Rand Hotel Tower opens this week after $110 million renovation," 29 Nov. 2020 The idea was inspired by the coronavirus, when lockdown meant workers couldn’t cultivate the 90,000 ornamental plants that usually grace the city’s streets. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian Magazine, "Are ‘Edible Landscapes’ the Future of Public Parks?," 16 Nov. 2020 Those Victorian houses that grace the older parts of the Bay Area are built of North Coast redwood. Carl Nolte,, "3 days unplugged in freezing North Coast woods a grueling, worthwhile ordeal," 14 Nov. 2020 The women in red who grace our screens tend to be seductive, enchanting, threatening, brave, wayward, and caught in the spotlight of the male gaze — sometimes all at once. Rosalind Jana,, "From Rebecca To Moulin Rouge: The Femme Fatale Power Of A Red Dress," 22 Oct. 2020 Inspiring views of the river, the city and nighttime lights are seen not only from the terrace but also from the large picture windows that grace most rooms. Mary Colurso |, al, "John Lennon’s ‘Lost Weekend’ penthouse up for sale; take a peek inside," 29 Sep. 2020 This year's scene is not the first nontraditional set to grace the Vatican's plaza. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "Vatican Nativity scene ridiculed for ‘embarrassing’ futuristic figures," 15 Dec. 2020 Plastic Hearts finds the longtime pop nomad wading in the waters of early-peak MTV, a period where pop and rock were fusing in the megahits of artists like Joan Jett, Billy Idol and Stevie Nicks -- all of whom show up to grace the album. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 25 Best Pop Albums of 2020: Staff Picks," 14 Dec. 2020 Her baba au rhum will surely go down in history as one of the most memorable desserts to ever grace a Minneapolis menu. Rick Nelson, Star Tribune, "Former Penny's space in Linden Hills to become Café Cerés by top pastry chef Shawn McKenzie," 10 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grace.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of grace


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grace

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin gratia favor, charm, thanks, from gratus pleasing, grateful; akin to Sanskrit gṛṇāti he praises

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Learn More about grace

Time Traveler for grace

Time Traveler

The first known use of grace was in the 12th century

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Statistics for grace

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for grace


How to pronounce grace (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of grace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a way of moving that is smooth and attractive and that is not stiff or awkward
: a controlled, polite, and pleasant way of behaving
: skills that are needed for behaving in a polite way in social situations



English Language Learners Definition of grace (Entry 2 of 2)

formal : to decorate or add beauty to (something)


\ ˈgrās How to pronounce grace (audio) \

Kids Definition of grace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a short prayer at a meal
2 : beauty and ease of movement
3 : pleasant, controlled, and polite behavior social graces She handled the situation with grace.
4 : goodwill, favor They were saved by the grace of God.
5 : the condition of being in favor He tried to get in their good graces.


graced; gracing

Kids Definition of grace (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to do credit to : honor Will you grace us with your presence?
2 : to make more attractive : adorn A fountain graces the garden.



Legal Definition of grace

1 : a special favor : privilege considered by many authorities to be a matter of grace and not of rightThe Mentally Disabled and the Law
2a : a temporary exemption
b : the prerogative of mercy exercised (as by a chief executive) or granted in the form of equitable relief

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