gra·​cious | \ ˈgrā-shəs How to pronounce gracious (audio) \

Definition of gracious

1a : marked by kindness and courtesy a gracious host
b : characterized by charm, good taste, generosity of spirit, and the tasteful leisure of wealth and good breeding gracious living
c : graceful
d : marked by tact and delicacy : urbane
2 : merciful, compassionate used conventionally of royalty and high nobility my gracious lord, the Duke of Windsor
3a archaic : pleasing, acceptable
b obsolete : godly

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Other Words from gracious

graciously adverb
graciousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for gracious

gracious, cordial, affable, genial, sociable mean markedly pleasant and easy in social intercourse. gracious implies courtesy and kindly consideration. the gracious award winner thanked her colleagues cordial stresses warmth and heartiness. our host was cordial as he greeted us affable implies easy approachability and readiness to respond pleasantly to conversation or requests or proposals. though wealthy, she was affable to all genial stresses cheerfulness and even joviality. a genial companion with a ready quip sociable suggests a genuine liking for the companionship of others. sociable people who enjoy entertaining

Examples of gracious in a Sentence

This is not a surprise given the welcome, gracious atmosphere, the uncommon competence of the kitchen, with its familiar Little Italy Italian menu … and the restaurant's credible wine list. — Mark Bittman, New York Times, 26 June 2002 If there are not too many in the group, you might inquire solicitously about their health. If you are in a particularly gracious mood, you might even give them a brief resume of your physical condition. — Groucho Marx, letter, 15 Nov. 1951, in The Groucho Letters1987 Phoebe closed her eyes, seeing her father moving like a shadow among his guests, gracious, smiling, pouring wine and exchanging greetings. — Judith Berry Griffin, Phoebe the Spy, 1977 The reception started in orderly enough fashion—gracious and leisurely. Paula Locker, the President of the Club, met me at the door, and I took my place in line with her, with Fishbait Miller doing the introducing. — Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, 1970 Thank you for your gracious hospitality. The magazine promotes gracious living.
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Recent Examples on the Web To be gracious and accepting of these changes feels inhuman, impossible. James Parker, The Atlantic, "Alison Bechdel’s Spiritual Sprint," 3 May 2021 The 45th President did write Biden a letter on Inauguration Day, described by somewhat surprised aides as gracious and rather long. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Biden restores presidential consultations that Trump dismissed," 29 Apr. 2021 Rodrigo, the apartment’s occupant, was gracious and skeletal. World Economic Forum, Forbes, "3 Steps To Chart A Course Towards Inclusion," 10 Mar. 2021 Viscuso was somewhat gracious in her victory, posting the same photo on her Instagram page. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Henry Cavill goes Instagram official with 'beautiful and brilliant love' Natalie Viscuso," 12 Apr. 2021 Others noted how gracious Meghan has been throughout it all. Zoe Guy, Marie Claire, "Reactions to Oprah's Interview with Meghan and Harry," 8 Mar. 2021 Home' at the Peter Hunter House is an extension of my feelings for our community: light, welcoming, open, kind, and gracious. Lindsay Tigar, Travel + Leisure, "11 Female-owned Hotels Around the World With Amazing Stories," 20 Mar. 2021 Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis and Wally Szczerbiak were very gracious, and their piece on Hartford and the #Neighborhood was outstanding. John Gallagher,, "Hartford coach John Gallagher’s NCAA Tournament diary: Making the #Neighborhood proud," 19 Mar. 2021 Korean, meaning brave. Gianni: Italian, meaning God is gracious. Olivia Muenter, Woman's Day, "100 Adorable Baby Boy Names That Start With "G"," 5 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gracious.' 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 gracious

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3b

History and Etymology for gracious

Middle English, from Anglo-French gracieus, from Latin gratiosus enjoying favor, agreeable, from gratia

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Time Traveler for gracious

Time Traveler

The first known use of gracious was in the 14th century

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Statistics for gracious

Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gracious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for gracious



English Language Learners Definition of gracious

: very polite in a way that shows respect
: having or showing the attractive things (such as charm, good taste, and comfort) that are associated with having a lot of money
old-fashioned used as an interjection to express mild surprise or for emphasis


gra·​cious | \ ˈgrā-shəs How to pronounce gracious (audio) \

Kids Definition of gracious

1 : being kind and courteous a gracious hostess
2 : graceful a gracious mansion

Other Words from gracious

graciously adverb
graciousness noun

Comments on gracious

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