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

So polite, soft spoken, gracious, warm and inviting. Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: DeMarcus Cousins has more important issues to worry about than his knee," 28 Aug. 2019 Perhaps because Café Coffee Day, which Siddhartha founded in 1995, has been a constant, warm, friendly, alternative workplace for many an Indian founder, and Siddhartha a gracious host. Prasanna Krishnamoorthy, Quartz India, "A serial entrepreneur explains how startup founders can find an outlet for their stress," 2 Aug. 2019 Goodness gracious, is someone really blaming the president? Philip Rucker, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric looms over El Paso massacre," 4 Aug. 2019 Goodness gracious, is someone really blaming the President? NBC News, "Meet the Press - August 4, 2019," 4 Aug. 2019 Lessons learned: How Democrats are sharpening their arrows for the second debate Former Vice President Joe Biden is done being gracious. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "#GilroyStrong, Olympic Committee 'failed' athletes & Democrats debate: The Morning Rundown," 30 July 2019 To kick your gracious-living level up a notch, start by getting nice stationery. Marni Jameson,, "Stationery wardrobe — part 2: Handwritten cards are the grace notes of life," 20 June 2019 The Préfecture de Police-Police Headquarters-stands upon the approximate site of the gracious Forum, where Roman forces of order were based before our era began. Bruce Dale, National Geographic, "Adored, neglected, and restored: A 1968 Nat Geo feature explored Notre Dame," 17 Apr. 2019 White House officials were gracious and understanding when the British Embassy reached out to alert them to the leak. Washington Post, "In a divided Washington, British ambassador was a bridge," 10 July 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near gracious







gradacol membrane

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Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for gracious

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on gracious

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gracious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gracious

Spanish Central: Translation of gracious

Nglish: Translation of gracious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gracious for Arabic Speakers

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 a temporary encampment

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