gracious

adjective gra·cious \ ˈgrā-shəs \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of gracious

1 a obsolete : godly
b archaic : pleasing, acceptable
2 a : 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

graciously

adverb

graciousness

noun

Examples of gracious in a Sentence

  1. 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 BittmanNew York Times26 June 2002
  2. 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 Marxletter15 Nov. 1951, in The Groucho Letters1987
  3. Phoebe closed her eyes, seeing her father moving like a shadow among his guests, gracious, smiling, pouring wine and exchanging greetings. —Judith Berry GriffinPhoebe the Spy1977
  4. 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 JohnsonA White House Diary1970
  5. Thank you for your gracious hospitality.

  6. The magazine promotes gracious living.

Recent Examples of gracious from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of gracious

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

GRACIOUS Defined for English Language Learners

gracious

adjective

Definition of gracious for English Language Learners

  • : 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


GRACIOUS Defined for Kids

gracious

adjective gra·cious \ ˈgrā-shəs \

Definition of gracious for Students

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

graciously

adverb

graciousness

noun


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