warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful: I am grateful to you for your help.
expressing or actuated by gratitude: a grateful letter.
pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing: a grateful breeze.

Origin of grateful

1545–55; obsolete grate pleasing (< Latin grātus) + -ful
Related formsgrate·ful·ly, adverbgrate·ful·ness, nouno·ver·grate·ful, adjectiveo·ver·grate·ful·ly, adverbo·ver·grate·ful·ness, nounqua·si-grate·ful, adjectivequa·si-grate·ful·ly, adverb
Can be confusedgrateful gratified (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms for grateful

1. obliged, indebted. Grateful, thankful describe an appreciative attitude for what one has received. Grateful indicates a warm or deep appreciation of personal kindness as shown to one: grateful for favors; grateful to one's neighbors for help in time of trouble. Thankful indicates a disposition to express gratitude by giving thanks, as to a benefactor or to a merciful Providence; there is often a sense of deliverance as well as of appreciation: thankful that one's life was spared in an accident; thankful for the comfort of one's general situation. 3. pleasant, gratifying, satisfying. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gratefulness

Historical Examples of gratefulness

  • And now the sense of gratefulness cannot longer be repressed.

    Lotus Buds

    Amy Carmichael

  • He has the ways of our dog-friends, their patience and fidelity, their gratefulness for pats.

    Lotus Buds

    Amy Carmichael

  • I will ever have a lively feeling of gratefulness for your devotion.

    The False Chevalier

    William Douw Lighthall

  • Handel was engaged there with gratefulness by promising “some better music.”


    Romain Rolland

  • He looked into his heart; there was no animosity; there was nothing at all but a sense of gratefulness.

    The Puppet Crown

    Harold MacGrath

British Dictionary definitions for gratefulness



thankful for gifts, favours, etc; appreciative
showing gratitudea grateful letter
favourable or pleasanta grateful rest
Derived Formsgratefully, adverbgratefulness, noun

Word Origin for grateful

C16: from obsolete grate, from Latin grātus + -ful
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 gratefulness



1550s, "pleasing to the mind," also "full of gratitude," from obsolete adj. grate "agreeable, thankful," from Latin gratus "pleasing" (see grace). "A most unusual formation" [Weekley]. Hard to think of another case where English uses -ful to make an adjective from an adjective. Related: Gratefully; gratefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper