grace (n.)

late 12c., "God's unmerited favor, love, or help," from Old French grace "pardon, divine grace, mercy; favor, thanks; elegance, virtue" (12c., Modern French grâce), from Latin gratia "favor, esteem, regard; pleasing quality, good will, gratitude" (source of Italian grazia, Spanish gracia; in Church use translating Greek kharisma), from gratus "pleasing, agreeable" (from PIE *gwreto-, suffixed form of root *gwere- (2) "to favor").

Sense of "virtue" is early 14c., that of "beauty of form or movement, pleasing quality" is mid-14c. In classical sense, "one of the three sister goddesses (Latin Gratiæ, Greek Kharites), bestowers of beauty and charm," it is first recorded in English 1579 in Spenser. In music, "an embellishment not essential to the melody or harmony," 1650s. As the name of the short prayer that is said before or after a meal (early 13c.; until 16c. usually graces) it has a sense of "gratitude." As a title of honor, c. 1500.


fem. proper name, literally "favor, grace;" see grace (n.).

grace (v.)

c. 1200, "to thank," from Old French graciier "thank, give thanks to; praise," from grace "mercy, favor, thanks, virtue" (see grace (n.)). Meaning "to show favor" (mid-15c.) led to that of "to lend or add grace to something" (1580s, as in grace us with your presence), which is the root of the musical sense in grace notes (1650s). Related: Graced; gracing.

updated on January 08, 2022

Definitions of grace from WordNet
grace (n.)
(Christian theology) a state of sanctification by God; the state of one who is under such divine influence;
it was debated whether saving grace could be obtained outside the membership of the church
the conception of grace developed alongside the conception of sin
the Virgin lived in a state of grace
Synonyms: saving grace / state of grace
grace (n.)
elegance and beauty of movement or expression;
a beautiful figure which she used in subtle movements of unparalleled grace
Synonyms: gracility
grace (n.)
a sense of propriety and consideration for others;
a place where the company of others must be accepted with good grace
Synonyms: seemliness
grace (n.)
a disposition to kindness and compassion;
the victor's grace in treating the vanquished
Synonyms: good will / goodwill
grace (n.)
a period of time past the deadline for fulfilling an obligation during which a penalty that would be imposed for being late is waived, especially an extended period granted as a special favor;
The payment had originally been due on April 1 but we had a grace period which expired in June.
Synonyms: grace period
grace (n.)
a short prayer of thanks before a meal;
their youngest son said grace
Synonyms: blessing / thanksgiving
grace (n.)
(Christian theology) the free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God;
there but for the grace of God go I
God's grace is manifested in the salvation of sinners
Synonyms: grace of God / free grace
grace (v.)
make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.;
grace (v.)
be beautiful to look at;
Synonyms: deck / adorn / decorate / embellish / beautify
Grace (n.)
(Greek mythology) one of three sisters who were the givers of beauty and charm; a favorite subject for sculptors;
From, not affiliated with etymonline.