adjective grate·ful \ ˈgrāt-fəl \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

Definition of grateful

1 a : appreciative of benefits received
b : expressing gratitude
  • grateful thanks
2 a : affording pleasure or contentment : pleasing
b : pleasing by reason of comfort supplied or discomfort alleviated


play \ˈgrāt-fə-lē\ adverb



Examples of grateful in a Sentence

  1. The voice quacking at the other end of the line sounded surprised and grateful—a young man's eager voice, thankful for the sudden interruption on an otherwise empty afternoon. —Paul TherouxGrantaSummer 1992
  2. I didn't have to be in love with the man to do this, and my poor body'd probably be grateful to get fed, since it'd been on such a starvation diet. —Terry McMillanWaiting to Exhale1992
  3. Sergeant James Smith was a company clerk, which meant that he carried his commander's maps, Edwards was grateful to learn. —Tom ClancyRed Storm Rising1986
  4. I am grateful for the Latin I took and for the emphasis on English grammar, which seems to have faded from the curriculum. —John UpdikeHugging the Shore(1983) 1984
  5. The college sent us a grateful acknowledgment of our donation.

  6. I'm grateful to you for your help.

  7. He's grateful for the attention.

Recent Examples of grateful from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grateful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of grateful

obsolete grate pleasing, thankful, from Latin gratus — more at grace

grateful Synonyms

GRATEFUL Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of grateful for English Language Learners

  • : feeling or showing thanks : feeling or showing thanks to someone for some helpful act

GRATEFUL Defined for Kids


adjective grate·ful \ ˈgrāt-fəl \

Definition of grateful for Students

1 : feeling or showing thanks
  • I'm grateful for your help.
2 : providing pleasure or comfort
  • … the blended scents of tea and coffee were so grateful to the nose …
  • —Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol


\-fə-lē\ adverb

Word Root of grateful

The Latin word gratus, meaning “pleasing” or “thankful,” gives us the root grat. Words from the Latin gratus have something to do with being pleasing or being thankful. To ingratiate yourself is to make others feel thankful for something you've done. To feel grateful is to feel thankful for something. Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness. To congratulate is to express how pleasing someone's success is.

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excessive admiration or flattery

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