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 graciousness

Contemporary Examples of graciousness

Historical Examples of graciousness

  • The use of a title higher than his own flattered the Inspector, and he was moved to graciousness.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • From that moment I felt ill at ease with her, in spite of her graciousness and her kindness.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • All graciousness must henceforth be a sorrow: it has to go with the sunsets.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • The graciousness of her manner, however, underwent no abatement.

    The Avenger

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • But it was not long before he learned that the graciousness was, in her case, a mistake.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for graciousness



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 graciousness

early 15c., from gracious + -ness.



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 graciousness


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.