- the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
- the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.
- a virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces.
- Also called state of grace. the condition of being in God's favor or one of the elect.
verb (used with object), graced, grac·ing.
- Theology. to relapse into sin or disfavor.
- to lose favor; be discredited: He fell from grace when the boss found out he had lied.
Origin of grace
Related formsgrace·like, adjectiveun·graced, adjective
- "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)
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.
— 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.
Definition for graces (2 of 2)
Examples from the Web for graces
Later, back in the graces of the French crown, he was appointed commander of the Missouri and built Fort Orleans in 1723.
He knows his furniture, each of his trees, every log in his cabin—faults and graces—all on a personal basis.Pete Dexter’s Indelible Portrait of Author Norman Maclean|Pete Dexter|March 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He was charming, diffident but above all very friendly, with no airs or graces.
But 2013 marks the changing of the guard, as actress Kerry Washington graces the August issue.‘Scandal’ Star Kerry Washington Lands Vanity Fair Cover|Allison Samuels|July 3, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Kate Upton graces one side holding ducklings – and a second cover depicts a little girl holding a baby and laughing.Carine Roitfeld Exclusive Interview About CR Fashion Book|Isabel Wilkinson|September 6, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Go among women with the good qualities of your sex, and you will acquire from them the softness and the graces of theirs.The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son|The Earl of Chesterfield
Then follow earnest admonitions to shun the vices of their former state of heathenism, and cultivate all the graces of the Spirit.Companion to the Bible|E. P. Barrows
She appeared to be perfectly content with her time of life, and in no way affected the graces of youth.Barchester Towers|Anthony Trollope
With a due respect for the graces of art, I have not embodied the fact that they feed on the carcases which they bury.Brothers of Pity and Other Tales of Beasts and Men|Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing
First by succumbing himself—Nature's graces, her inconsistencies, even her objectionable traits appeal to him.Our Friend John Burroughs|Clara Barrus
British Dictionary definitions for graces (1 of 4)
British Dictionary definitions for graces (2 of 4)
- affectation of manner (esp in the phrase airs and graces)
- in someone's good graces regarded favourably and with kindness by someone
- the free and unmerited favour of God shown towards man
- the divine assistance and power given to man in spiritual rebirth and sanctification
- the condition of being favoured or sanctified by God
- an unmerited gift, favour, etc, granted by God
Word Origin for grace
British Dictionary definitions for graces (3 of 4)
British Dictionary definitions for graces (4 of 4)
Culture definitions for 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.
Idioms and Phrases with graces
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.