gra·cious | \ ˈgrā-shəs \

Definition of gracious 

1a obsolete : godly

b archaic : pleasing, acceptable

2a : marked by kindness and courtesy a gracious host

b : graceful

c : marked by tact and delicacy : urbane

d : characterized by charm, good taste, generosity of spirit, and the tasteful leisure of wealth and good breeding gracious living

3 : merciful, compassionate used conventionally of royalty and high nobility my gracious lord, the Duke of Windsor

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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

Stewart Bridges, who coaches the Fort Lauderdale squad, was very gracious in defeat. Emmett Hall,, "Deerfield Beach Little League Junior Division All-Stars ready for trip to Florida's capital," 12 July 2018 There are some fetching rural lodgings here, too, particularly those run by Count Tibor Kálnoky, a tall and gracious 51-year-old from a clan of Hungarian nobles that was exiled during the Communist years. Christopher Bagley, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Bewitching Time Warp of Transylvania, Romania," 4 May 2018 Everyone had been working really hard to find an amicable and gracious way of letting go and moving on. Emma Dibdin, Cosmopolitan, "A Definitive Timeline of Behind-the-Scenes Drama on Grey's Anatomy," 13 Mar. 2018 Win gracefully Dominate at lawn games, but be gracious about it. Sophia Benoit, GQ, "14 Ways to Exude Big Dick Energy at Any Barbecue," 2 July 2018 In making sense of the legacy that my dad has left behind, I am constantly reminded of the importance of being gracious, being good, and sharing love with family and friends. Aileen Comer, The Cut, "The Strangeness of Dating Again After My Dad’s Death," 28 June 2018 Where: 30542 Hickory Lane, Franklin How much: $1.8 million Bedrooms: 3 Baths: 3 full, 2 half Square feet: 5,020 Key features: Unusually gracious, sprawling ranch house has a stunning 10-acre site that’s in a close-in location. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "Philanthropists' Mid-century ranch in Franklin was made for art," 16 June 2018 Putin did his best to be gracious with a nod and a smile. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Russia Opens World Cup With 5-0 Rout of Saudi Arabia," 14 June 2018 No matter what, acting gracious and composed is always the best look. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "What Does It Really Mean To Have Southern Taste?," 8 June 2018

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 1a

History and Etymology for gracious

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

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Dictionary Entries near gracious







gradacol membrane

Statistics for gracious

Last Updated

25 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gracious

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

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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

—used as an interjection to express mild surprise or for emphasis


gra·cious | \ ˈgrā-shəs \

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

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Comments on gracious

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


to make amends

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