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)

Grace

[ greys ]
/ greɪs /

noun

William Russell,1832–1904, U.S. financier and shipping magnate, born in Ireland: mayor of New York City 1880–88.
a female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for graces


British Dictionary definitions for graces

Graces

/ (ˈɡreɪsɪz) /

pl n

Greek myth three sisters, the goddesses Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia, givers of charm and beauty

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 graces
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for graces

Graces

Greek and Roman goddesses of loveliness and charm. According to most stories, there were three of them. They were supposed to be invited to every banquet.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with graces

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.