pleasantly kind, benevolent, and courteous.
characterized by good taste, comfort, ease, or luxury: gracious suburban living; a gracious home.
indulgent or beneficent in a pleasantly condescending way, especially to inferiors.
merciful or compassionate: our gracious king.
Obsolete. fortunate or happy.


(used as an exclamation of surprise, relief, dismay, etc.)

Nearby words

  1. gracilis,
  2. gracilis muscle,
  3. gracility,
  4. graciosity,
  5. gracioso,
  6. graciously,
  7. graciousness,
  8. grackle,
  9. grad,
  10. grad.

Origin of gracious

1250–1300; Middle English gracious < Old French < Latin grātiōsus amiable, equivalent to grāti(a) grace + -ōsus -ous

1. benign, friendly, favorable, polite. See kind1. 4. tender, clement, mild, gentle.

Related forms
Can be confusedgracious gratis gratuitous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gracious

British Dictionary definitions for gracious



characterized by or showing kindness and courtesy
condescendingly courteous, benevolent, or indulgent
characterized by or suitable for a life of elegance, ease, and indulgencegracious living; gracious furnishings
merciful or compassionate
obsolete fortunate, prosperous, or happy


an expression of mild surprise or wonder (often in exclamatory phrases such as good gracious!, gracious me!)
Derived Formsgraciously, adverbgraciousness, noun

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 gracious



c.1300, "filled with God's grace," from Old French gracios "courteous, pleasing, kind, friendly" (12c., Modern French gracieux), from Latin gratiosus "enjoying favor, agreeable, obliging; popular, acceptable," from gratia (see grace). Meaning "merciful, benevolent" is from late 14c. As an exclamation, elliptically for gracious God, attested from 1713.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with gracious


see goodness gracious.

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