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.)

Origin of gracious

1250–1300; Middle English gracious < Old French < Latin grātiōsus amiable, equivalent to grāti(a) grace + -ōsus -ous
Related formsgra·cious·ly, adverbgra·cious·ness, gra·ci·os·i·ty [grey-shee-os-i-tee] /ˌgreɪ ʃiˈɒs ɪ ti/, nounnon·gra·ci·os·i·ty, nounnon·gra·cious, adjectivenon·gra·cious·ly, adverbnon·gra·cious·ness, nouno·ver·gra·cious, adjectiveo·ver·gra·cious·ly, adverbo·ver·gra·cious·ness, nounqua·si-gra·cious, adjectivequa·si-gra·cious·ly, adverb
Can be confusedgracious gratis gratuitous

Synonyms for gracious

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

Antonyms for gracious

1. churlish. 4. cruel. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for graciously

Contemporary Examples of graciously

Historical Examples of graciously

  • She tapped Tom's shoulder with her fan and smiled, graciously corrective.

  • He receives me graciously enough, and treats me with politeness.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • Mark you, it is not wisdom but a whim of mine which causes me to be graciously minded!

    Priestess of the Flame

    Sewell Peaslee Wright

  • He was presented by that great officer, and received most graciously.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • "If a bachelor may be said to have a home, Mrs. Barnes," he added, graciously.

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for graciously



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 graciously

c.1300, "by God's grace," from gracious + -ly (2). Meaning "favorably, with good will" is late 14c.



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 graciously


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.