• Grace


    • IPA: /ɡɹeɪs/
    • Rhymes: -eɪs


    From Middle English grace, from Old French grace (Modern French grâce), from Latin grātia "kindness, favour, esteem", from grātus ‘pleasing’ from Proto-Indo-European *gwer- ("to praise, welcome"). Compare grateful. Displaced native Middle English held, hield "grace" (from Old English held, hyld "grace"), Middle English este "grace, favour, pleasure" (from Old English ēste "grace, kindness, favour"), Middle English athmede(n) "grace" (from Old English ēadmēdu "grace"), Middle English are, ore "grace, mercy, honour" (from Old English ār "grace, kindness, mercy").

    Full definition of grace



    (countable and uncountable; plural graces)
    1. (not countable) Elegant movement; poise or balance.
      The dancer moved with grace and strength.
    2. (not countable) Charming, pleasing qualities.
      The Princess brought grace to an otherwise dull and boring party.
      • 1699, William Temple, Heads designed for an essay on conversationsStudy gives strength to the mind; conversation, grace: the first apt to give stiffness, the other suppleness: one gives substance and form to the statue, the other polishes it.
      • BlairI have formerly given the general character of Mr. Addison's style and manner as natural and unaffected, easy and polite, and full of those graces which a flowery imagination diffuses over writing.
    3. (not countable, theology) Free and undeserved favour, especially of God. Unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.
      I'm so grateful to God for the grace that He has given me.
    4. (not countable, theology) Divine assistance in resisting sin.
    5. (countable) Short prayer of thanks before or after a meal.
      It has become less common to say grace before having dinner.
      For examples of the use of this sense see: Citations:grace
    6. (finance) An allowance of time granted for a debtor during which he is free of at least part of his normal obligations towards the creditor.
      The repayment of the loan starts after a three years' grace (period).
    7. (card games) A special move in a solitaire or patience game that is normally against the rules.


    1. (transitive) To adorn; to decorate; to embellish and dignify.He graced the room with his presence.He graced the room by simply being there.His portrait graced a landing on the stairway.
      • unknown date Alexander PopeGreat Jove and Phoebus graced his noble line.
      • unknown date ShakespeareWe are graced with wreaths of victory.
    2. (transitive) To dignify or raise by an act of favour; to honour.
      • unknown date KnollesHe might, at his pleasure, grace or disgrace whom he would in court.
    3. (transitive) To supply with heavenly grace.
    4. (transitive, music) To add grace notes, cadenzas, etc., to.


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