\ ˈgrās \

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


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.


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 entire movie hinges on their tense relationship, and Andy spends the better part of two hours trying to get into Miranda's good graces, which finally happens right before the closing credits. Zoe Weiner, Glamour, "This 'Devil Wears Prada' Deleted Scene Tells a Completely Different Story," 30 Aug. 2017 Rather, I was suspended in a state of grace, and my heart almost exploded at the joy. Maria Finn, Longreads, "Can Love Sparked at Burning Man Last in Everyday Life?," 28 Aug. 2017 Dance is also an important part of the conservatory’s mission, and the spring dance program April 26-28 at White Recital Hall will celebrate the athleticism and grace of the school’s dancers. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "UMKC Conservatory’s ‘Hansel and Gretel’ will be ‘real feast for eyes and ears’," 25 Aug. 2017 Elba is the biggest saving grace in a wasteland of woes. Rick Bentley, idahostatesman, "‘The Dark Tower’ pale version of King’s story," 3 Aug. 2017 Carefully observing the modest and grace-filled mother of Jesus, the masterpiece of God’s love, Mary Magdalene would have learned what true feminine beauty looks like. Nr Interview, National Review, "Finding Peace with Mary Magdalene," 22 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

His illustrations graced the pages of thousands of publications and appeared on nearly four dozen World War I posters. Alexandra Wolfe, WSJ, "I Want You…to Solve the Mystery of the Missing Nude," 10 Oct. 2018 In fact, Kate is actually still on her maternity leave, but graced us with a surprise visit during yesterday's event. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Prince William Nudged a Dazed Kate Middleton to Scoot Over in Hilarious Clip," 11 July 2018 We are blessed to have him grace us with his rambunctious presence. Jon Tayler,, "Behold the Arrival of Dan Vogelbach, Baseball's Ultimate Large Adult Son," 26 Mar. 2018 To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kevin Hart Had an Emotional Response to the News He's Hosting the Oscars," 5 Dec. 2018 Ravi Coltrane was the first act when the club opened; in the couple of years since, Australian trumpeter James Morrison, Antonia Bennett (daughter of Tony), and César Orozco have all graced the stage. Carrie Hutchinson, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Venues & Places for Live Music in Melbourne," 10 Sep. 2018 None of these latter-day releases have graced any Billboard chart. Kenneth Partridge, Billboard, "In Defense of the Swing Revival: Why America Flipped for '40s Sounds in 1998," 29 May 2018 Acts from musicians to comedians to experimental art to dance to improv to storytelling have graced the anything-goes open mic., "10 things to do in Akron and Summit County the week of May 14-20," 14 May 2018 Both Clarkson and Hudson have served as coaches, but this marks the first time two Idol alums have graced the Voice panel together. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "'The Voice' sets up classic 'Idol' pairing with Clarkson, Hudson set to coach in fall," 10 May 2018

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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Statistics for grace

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Time Traveler for grace

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

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More Definitions for grace



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

graces : skills that are needed for behaving in a polite way in social situations



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

: to decorate or add beauty to (something)


\ ˈgrās \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on grace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grace

Spanish Central: Translation of grace

Nglish: Translation of grace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grace for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about grace

Comments on grace

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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