\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The alums decided to stay away from campus in June, instead writing letters to each graduate about surviving turbulent times with grace. Heidi Stevens,, "Column: We owe each other better than the toxic, tragic self-interest on display at that Rose Garden ceremony," 5 Oct. 2020 Trump needs his nominee to handle hostile questions from prying senators deftly and with grace, but at the same time without appearing unreliable to voters on the Right. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "The Supreme Court fight of our lives," 24 Sep. 2020 But Picoult allows her protagonist to have both, and that backward reflection and forward glance lift the narrative, reminding fans that Picoult always tells both sides of a story not with judgment, but with grace. Washington Post, "In ‘The Book of Two Ways,’ Jodi Picoult delivers another powerful story about heart-wrenching moral choices," 22 Sep. 2020 Nonetheless, the two winners handled the moment with grace. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "This Is Why the ACM Awards Allowed a Tie Between Carrie Underwood and Thomas Rhett," 17 Sep. 2020 Tommy was a wonderful friend and a great community leader who lived a life of grace. Kevin Dayhoff,, "Dayhoff: A tribute to the passing of three great Carroll countians who made a difference," 11 Sep. 2020 Ellen's popularity was built in large part on her humanity and the offering of grace. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Creators of color, your time in Hollywood is now," 20 Aug. 2020 Have lots of grace for yourself, and just have fun. Rick Nelson, Star Tribune, "More must-bake cookies, from Twin Cities author Sarah Kieffer," 19 Aug. 2020 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 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grace

Time Traveler for grace

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for grace

Last Updated

11 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on grace

What made you want to look up grace? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!