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grateful vs. thankful

grateful vs. thankful: What’s the difference?

Grateful and thankful are close synonyms that are almost always used to mean the same thing. Both can mean “feeling gratitude” (as in I’m so grateful/thankful for the opportunity) or “expressing gratitude” (as in Their letter was extremely grateful/thankful). Both words can be used even when there’s not actually anyone to thank. Grateful also has a much rarer sense, meaning “pleasing to the mind or senses.”

[ greyt-fuhl ]
  1. warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful: I am grateful to you for your help.
  2. expressing or actuated by gratitude: a grateful letter.
  3. pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable; welcome: a grateful breeze;The peace and calm of the hill country is a grateful relief.
[ thangk-fuhl ]
  1. feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.

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