: of, relating to, resembling, or being a relatively small slender australopithecine (genus Australopithecus) characterized especially by molars and incisors of similar size that are adapted to a diet including both plant matter and animal flesh compare robust sense 5
gracileness noun
gracility noun

Example Sentences

gracile as any pair of classically trained dancers, the bride and groom made their way around the dance floor
Recent Examples on the Web More generally, humans as a whole have become more gracile over the last 10,000 years. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 26 Mar. 2012 Elephant bones by comparison are gracile, slender—they’re like twigs compared to mastodons. Peter Brannen, The Atlantic, 22 June 2022 The bright colors and gracile X-braces of the Eames House are written all across the Pompidou Center. Thomas De Monchaux, The New Yorker, 22 Jan. 2022 Homotherium was not the only carnivore on the Pleistocene landscape, and the gracile cats might have faced competition from Ice Age hyenas, bears and other cats. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 June 2021 At first glance, there would seem to be nothing to find in that little house of Cobb’s signature masterpiece, the gracile glass skyscraper that still crowns Boston’s skyline and is the quintessence of what design historians call high modernism. Thomas De Monchaux, The New Yorker, 6 Oct. 2019 Gracile skulls due to the Mongoloid’s very recent evolutionary development. Longreads, 1 Aug. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gracile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin gracilis

First Known Use

1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gracile was in 1623

Dictionary Entries Near gracile

Cite this Entry

“Gracile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition


grac·​ile ˈgras-əl How to pronounce gracile (audio) -ˌīl How to pronounce gracile (audio)
: being slender or slight
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