grace

[ greys ]
/ greɪs /

noun

verb (used with object), graced, grac·ing.

to lend or add grace to; adorn: Many fine paintings graced the rooms of the house.
to favor or honor: to grace an occasion with one's presence.

Nearby words

  1. grabble,
  2. grabby,
  3. graben,
  4. gracchi,
  5. gracchus,
  6. grace cup,
  7. grace note,
  8. grace period,
  9. grace, william russell,
  10. grace-and-favor

Idioms

Origin of grace

1125–75; Middle English < Old French < Latin grātia favor, kindness, esteem, derivative of grātus pleasing

Related formsgrace·like, adjectiveun·graced, adjective

Word story

¡Gracias! Grazie! When a Spanish or Italian speaker says thanks, they are invoking one of the meanings behind the word grace. That’s because grace, gracias, and grazie all descend from the same Latin word, grātia.
For the ancient Romans, grātia had three distinct meanings: (1) a pleasing quality, (2) favor or goodwill, and (3) gratitude or thanks. We find all three of these meanings in modern-day English. The first when we describe someone as having (or not having) grace: “Dancing, she had all the grace of an elephant on skates.” The second when we talk about giving or getting grace: “by the grace of God.” And the third when we say grace (i.e., “thanks”) at a meal.
So if you have something to be grateful for, you can say thank-you, grātia, gracias, or grazie. Just make sure you don’t give that something a coup de grâce.

Popular references


Amazing Grace: A hymn written by English clergyman John Newton, who participated in the slave trade before finding religion.
Grace: Jeff Buckley’s sole studio album, released in 1994, just three years before his early death.

Related Quotations
  • "When a person expends the least amount of motion on one action, that is grace."
    -Anton Pavlovich Chekhov Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Letters, vol. 8, p. 11, “Nauka” (1976)
  • "When a clergyman is present, he is asked to say grace, often after everyone is seated. But in the case of a friend, he should be asked in advance if he would like to say grace."
    -Nancy Tuckerman & Nancy Dunnan The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette (1995)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for fall from grace

grace

/ (ɡreɪs) /

noun

verb

Word Origin for grace

C12: from Old French, from Latin grātia, from grātus pleasing

Grace

1
/ (ɡreɪs) /

noun

(preceded by your, his, or her) a title used to address or refer to a duke, duchess, or archbishop

Grace

2
/ (ɡreɪs) /

noun

W (illiam) G (ilbert). 1848–1915, English cricketer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fall from grace
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with fall from grace

fall from grace

Experience reduced status or prestige, cease to be held in favor, as in The whole department has fallen from grace and may well be dissolved entirely. This expression originally alluded to losing the favor of God. Today it is also used more loosely, as in the example. [Late 1300s]

grace

see fall from grace; in someone's bad graces; in someone's good graces; saving grace; say grace; there but for the grace of god; with good grace.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.