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See also: Grace, Graces, grâce, and Grâce



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From Middle English grace, borrowed from Old French grace (Modern French grâce), from Latin grātia "kindness, favour, esteem", from grātus ‘pleasing’ from Proto-Indo-European *gʷerH- (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").


  • IPA(key): /ɡɹeɪs/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪs


grace (countable and uncountable, plural graces)

  1. (uncountable) Elegant movement; poise or balance.
    The dancer moved with grace and strength.
  2. Charming, pleasing qualities.
    The Princess brought grace to an otherwise dull and boring party.
    • 1699, William Temple, Heads designed for an essay on conversations
      Study 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.
    • Blair
      I 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. (uncountable, 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. (uncountable, 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.
  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-year grace (period).
    • 1990, Claude de Bèze, 1688 revolution in Siam: the memoir of Father de Bèze, s.j, translated by E. W. Hutchinson, University Press, page 153:
      With mounting anger the King denounced the pair, both father and son, and was about to condemn them to death when his strength gave out. Faint and trembling he was unable to walk and the sword fell from his hands as he murmured: 'May the Protector of the Buddhist Faith grant me but seven more days grace of life to be quit of this disloyal couple, father and son'.
  7. (card games) A special move in a solitaire or patience game that is normally against the rules.

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


grace (third-person singular simple present graces, present participle gracing, simple past and past participle graced)

  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.
  2. (transitive) To dignify or raise by an act of favour; to honour.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Knolles
      He might, at his pleasure, grace or disgrace whom he would in court.
  3. (transitive) To supply with heavenly grace.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Bishop Hall to this entry?)
  4. (transitive, music) To add grace notes, cadenzas, etc., to.




Middle EnglishEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Old French grace, from Latin grātia.

Alternative formsEdit


  • (Early ME) IPA(key): /ˈɡraːtsə/
  • IPA(key): /ˈɡraːs(ə)/


grace (plural graces or grace)

  1. Various (Christian) theological meanings, usually as an attribute of God:
    1. The grace of God; divine aid or beneficence.
    2. A gift or sign of God; a demonstration of divine power.
    3. guidance, direction (especially divine)
  2. luck, destiny (especially positive or beneficial)
  3. niceness, esteem, positive demeanour
  4. beneficence, goodwill, good intentions
  5. gracefulness, elegance; aptness, competence.
  6. A present; a helpful or kind act.
  7. relief, relenting, forgiveness
  8. A prayer, especially one preceding a meal.
  9. (rare) repute, credit
  10. (rare) misfortune, misadventure, doom
  11. (rare, Late ME) unfairness, partisanship
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Old English græs.



  1. Alternative form of gras

Old FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit


Borrowed from Latin grātia.


grace f (oblique plural graces, nominative singular grace, nominative plural graces)

  1. grace; favor
  2. grace; gracefulness; elegance