gracious

adjective
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
d : marked by tact and delicacy : urbane
2 : merciful, compassionate used conventionally of royalty and high nobilitymy 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 Cam Newton was gracious, enthusiastic, and fun to have around. Bob Ryan, BostonGlobe.com, "Evaluating the state of Boston’s teams in 2020," 29 Dec. 2020 Be magnanimous in defeat and you might be remembered as a gracious loser who deserves a second look the next time around. Richard Chin Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Election quiz: Match the politician with the famous concession speech," 2 Nov. 2020 What America has long expected is that losing candidates swallow those feelings and at least pretend to be gracious. The Editors, National Review, "Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame," 30 Nov. 2020 The hosts wanted to be gracious, but the Trumps wanted loyalty — whatever that was supposed to mean — and made even longtime Republicans uncomfortable. Roxanne Roberts, Washington Post, "Washington’s establishment hopes a Biden presidency will make schmoozing great again," 23 Nov. 2020 Jordan, for his part, was quite gracious about receiving the honor. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "Dwayne Johnson jokingly refuses to 'concede' Sexiest Man Alive title to Michael B. Jordan," 21 Nov. 2020 Changes include converting a small bedroom upstairs into a gracious bath and laundry room to complete the master suite, which now also boasts a cedar closet. cleveland, "Iconic Victorian in Tremont asks $750,000: House of the Week," 13 Nov. 2020 Another less-than-gracious losing candidate, Republican Thomas Dewey, defied tradition by refusing to personally congratulate President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Defeated Presidential Candidates Deliver Concession Speeches," 9 Nov. 2020 Historically, now is when the winners are gracious, the losers concede, and all Americans acknowledge the outcome and turn their attention to the challenges of everyday life. Charles Koch, Fortune, "Charles Koch: Partisan politics don’t work. It’s time for a new way," 19 Nov. 2020

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 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gracious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gracious. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for gracious

gracious

adjective
How to pronounce gracious (audio)

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

gracious

adjective
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

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Comments on gracious

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