\ 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 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 The grounds, once graced by manicured flower beds, statues, Italian cypress and citrus trees, are now mainly oaks, yucca and cacti. Kathleen Pender,, "Wine Country rarity: Vast southern Napa properties go on sale," 9 Nov. 2019 The original American Idol will kick off Kelly Clarkson: Invincible, an extended run at Zappos Theater inside Planet Hollywood on April 1, 2020—on the same stage graced by Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain and Christina Aguilera. Melinda Sheckells, Billboard, "Kelly Clarkson Sets 2020 'Invincible' Residency at Las Vegas' Zappos Theater: Exclusive," 1 Nov. 2019 The image that graced the cover of The Americans was a stark image of segregation on a trolley in New Orleans. Johnny Simon, Quartzy, "Robert Frank exposed an America that Americans weren’t ready to see," 11 Sep. 2019 The cover of FIFA Soccer 96 was graced by Brescia midfielder Ioan Sabia and, even more bizarrely, Notts County's Andy Legg., "7 of the Strangest Video Game Cover Stars Ever," 31 July 2019 Last week casual strolls, bar crawls, and morning television appearances were graced by spectacular looks. Vogue, "Last Week, Stars Found Fresh Options For Day and Night," 24 June 2019 There is a shout-out to Ariana Grande, a birthday tribute to Maya Angelou, and a carousel of magazine covers graced by her Ocean’s 8 co-stars. Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, "Anne Hathaway Is Nobody's Punching Bag," 8 Jan. 2019 The record-breaking aircraft was graced by an image of Amy Johnson, a pioneering British pilot and the first female to fly solo from England to Australia in 1930. Laignee Barron, Time, "A Norwegian Airline Claims to Have Set a New Record for New York to London Flights," 19 Jan. 2018 That's right—the world's foremost power couple received a level of applause most performers can only hope for...just by gracing mere mortals with their dining presence. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Beyoncé and Jay-Z Received a Standing Ovation Literally for Just Leaving a Restaurant," 24 July 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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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

Cite this Entry

“Grace.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on grace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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


not agreeing with established beliefs

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