\ 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 Part of the fantasy of the baths has always been about the grace of purgation — this urge to slough away the lesser parts of ourselves and let our better selves emerge instead: rarefied, whittled, purified. Leslie Jamison, New York Times, "Is It Strange to Say I Miss the Bodies of Strangers?," 22 Sep. 2020 His fall from grace was one of the most rapid and precipitous in recent NBA history. Mike Bianchi,, "Hey, Magic fans, Dwight Howard may finally win a championship in Orlando! | Commentary," 22 Sep. 2020 Bieber stars in the clip as a working-class laborer who falls on hard times, when the grace of a stranger (a solider played by Wilmer Valderrama) lifts him and his girlfriend (played by Grown-ish and Star actress Ryan Destiny) out of their rut. Joey Nolfi,, "Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper take fans to church in 'Holy' music video," 18 Sep. 2020 Falwell's messy fall from grace came in August following a series of personal scandals. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "911 call from Falwell house reveals ex-Liberty president was drinking, fell down, lost 'a lot of blood' after resigning," 18 Sep. 2020 The fall from grace was accompanied by a fall down the standings. Glen Levy, CNN, "Marcelo Bielsa aims to bring whole new ball game to Premier League," 9 Sep. 2020 The whiplash-inducing fall from grace can be attributed to the S&P 500 index committee declining to include the stock in its hallmark index. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Amid geopolitical tensions, ‘Mulan’ is a litmus test for loyalties," 9 Sep. 2020 The market agrees: After many years of stellar stock-market performance, tobacco stocks have fallen from grace since 2017 as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has toughened its stance. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "How to Navigate the Fog of Sustainable Investing," 7 Sep. 2020 Although less famous than Katz, Dodd produces work singing a similarly bright tune, showing the grace of small things—vernacular saltbox architecture, sheets hanging on a line, a window open to the sea. Greta Rybus, National Geographic, "Why are so many artists drawn to Maine?," 18 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb De Saint Phalle moved to La Jolla in 1993, and her whimsical structures currently grace the grounds of the San Diego Convention Center, the Arts District at Liberty Station and the San Diego Waterfront Park. Karla Peterson, Michael James Rocha, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Phenomenal San Diego women: Creators and performers," 27 Sep. 2020 This week, the Joyce began the first part of a digital fall season that’s as stylistically and geographically diverse as the ever-rotating lineups that usually grace its stage. New York Times, "7 Things to Do This Weekend," 24 Sep. 2020 Did you guys ever expect to grace the stage together in one giant egg? Dana Rose Falcone,, "The Masked Singer Eliminates Its First Season 4 Contestant — Find Out Which Celeb Went Home," 23 Sep. 2020 Now, The Press/321 will feature the second rooftop pool to grace the city's business district, second to the Detroit City Club Apartments on Washington Boulevard, complete with a sundeck and grills. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, "Former Free Press building to be transformed into residential housing with rooftop pool," 16 Sep. 2020 The 21-year-old Frenchman, one of the youngest players to grace the cover of FIFA's EA Sports video game series, is expected to climb the list, says Forbes, by signing a new contract when his current deal with PSG expires in 2022. Matias Grez, CNN, "Lionel Messi tops Forbes' 2020 football rich list ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo," 15 Sep. 2020 With a peak output of 621 horsepower at 7500 rpm, the V-6 joins an exclusive club as one of the most potent engines ever to grace a production car. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Maserati MC20, an Elegant Mid-Engined Supercar, Could Herald a Renaissance," 9 Sep. 2020 Kate Bock made her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit debut in 2013, and has gone on to appear in Maxim, grace the covers of international fashion magazines and land multiple Victoria’s Secret campaigns. Hanna Flanagan,, "Model Kate Bock Launches Mental Health YouTube Series for Suicide Awareness Month," 4 Sep. 2020 Of course, fans were immediately eager for the next crew of contestants to grace their televisions. Rebecca Norris, Country Living, "Everything We Know About 'The Voice' Season 19," 2 Sep. 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

29 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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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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