grace

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
8
a
: 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

grace

2 of 2

verb

graced; gracing

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
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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Ax’s dependable musicality and effortless technique brought grace and humor to Beethoven, with excellent support from Payare and the musicians. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Nov. 2022 The horror is genuinely visceral, yet the story, aided by impassioned work from Chalamet and Russell, pushes onward with a rough and desperate grace. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 11 Nov. 2022 In closing, Spring told them to keep addressing the situation with grace and humility. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2022 Allow yourself to shed these old layers with grace and acceptance. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 Nov. 2022 To read the original Emily Post is to want to be a better person: to stand a bit straighter, to treat others with humor and benignity, and to carry oneself with more grace and less affectation. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 28 Oct. 2022 Most testers were pleasantly surprised by a shorter, stiffer tail that enabled the deck to scrub speed, pop spins, and land with unexpected grace. Drew Zieff, Outside Online, 18 Oct. 2022 Bringing a mother’s grief, grace and need for justice had to drive her songwriting process. A.d. Amorosi, Variety, 17 Oct. 2022 The legendary actress Cicely Tyson was known for her style, grace and compelling presence both on stage and in film. Claretta Bellamy, NBC News, 19 Sep. 2022
Verb
Kim Kardashian can grace the cover of any magazine with her naked ass and Miley Cyrus can come in like a wrecking ball. Whitney Perry, Glamour, 29 Oct. 2022 Kim Kardashian can grace the cover of any magazine with her a— and Miley Cyrus can come in like a wrecking ball. Glenn Garner, Peoplemag, 28 Oct. 2022 Kim Kardashian can grace the cover of any magazine with her naked ass and Miley Cyrus can come in like a wrecking ball. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 24 Oct. 2022 Kim Kardashian can grace the cover of any magazine with her naked a— and Miley Cyrus can come in like a wrecking ball. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 23 Oct. 2022 Meanwhile, works by contemporary artist Masha Reva–who has also made pieces for Harry Styles—grace the walls. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 17 Oct. 2022 Many restaurateurs told The Chronicle that, at times, unrecognizable tech ilk would grace their establishments with demanding service, barking their company names with abandon, and with little success. Brock Keeling, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Oct. 2022 Over 500 custom elements grace the interiors, courtesy of Ward and Gray design studio, from mossy-green sofas to chaises covered in patchwork antique fabrics. WSJ, 14 Sep. 2022 Portraits of Mamie Eisenhower, Pat Nixon, Lady Bird Johnson and Lou Henry Hoover grace the Vermeil Room, along with a full-length image of Jacqueline Kennedy. Darlene Superville, Chicago Tribune, 2 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near grace

Cite this Entry

“Grace.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grace. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

grace 1 of 2

noun

1
a
: help given to people by God in overcoming temptation
b
: a state of freedom from sin enjoyed through divine grace
2
: a short prayer at a meal
3
a
: approval, favor
stayed in the boss's good graces
b
: a special favor : privilege
c
: a temporary delay granted from the performance of an obligation (as the payment of a debt)
4
a
: a charming trait or quality
b
: ease of movement
walks with grace
5
used as a title for a duke, a duchess, or an archbishop
graceful
-fəl
adjective
gracefully
-fə-lē
adverb
gracefulness noun

grace

2 of 2

verb

graced; gracing
1
: honor entry 2 sense 1b
deeds that graced the town
2

Legal Definition

grace

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on grace

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