Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Characterized by kindness and warm courtesy.
  • adjective Characterized by tact and propriety.
  • adjective Condescendingly courteous; indulgent.
  • adjective Merciful or compassionate. Used especially of God in Christianity and Islam.
  • adjective Characterized by elegance and good taste.
  • adjective Archaic Enjoying favor or grace; acceptable or pleasing.
  • interjection Used to express surprise or mild emotion.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Full of grace or favor; disposed to show good will, or to exercise favor or kindness; beneficent; benignant.
  • Characterized by or exhibiting favor or kindness; friendly; kind; courteous: now usually implying condescension.
  • Characterized by or endowed with divine or saving grace; righteous; virtuous.
  • Attractive; agreeable; acceptable; excellent; graceful; becoming; beautiful.
  • an exclamation of surprise, originally a mild oath, good or gracious God. Synonyms and Kind, Good-natured, etc. (see benignant); benevolent, condescending, lenient, affable, familiar, civil, courteous.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Abounding in grace or mercy; manifesting love, or bestowing mercy; characterized by grace; beneficent; merciful; disposed to show kindness or favor; condescending.
  • adjective Abounding in beauty, loveliness, or amiability; graceful; excellent.
  • adjective Produced by divine grace; influenced or controlled by the divine influence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective kind and warmly courteous
  • adjective tactful
  • adjective compassionate
  • adjective indulgent
  • adjective charming and graceful
  • adjective elegant and with good taste
  • interjection expression of surprise, contempt, outrage, disgust, boredom, frustration.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective characterized by kindness and warm courtesy especially of a king to his subjects
  • adjective disposed to bestow favors
  • adjective exhibiting courtesy and politeness
  • adjective characterized by charm, good taste, and generosity of spirit

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French gracieus, from Latin grātiōsus, from grātia, good will; see grace.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French gracieus, from Latin gratiosus, from gratia ("esteem,favor"). See grace. Displaced native Old English hold ("gracious").

Examples

  • But, he actually went on to praise John McCain for giving what he called a gracious concession speech.

    CNN Transcript Nov 5, 2008

  • "I don't know whether I know how to give what you call gracious answers, doctor," said Mrs. Derrick pleasantly.

    Say and Seal, Volume II

  • "There are teams that help other teams, even though in the finals they may be competing against one another, it's what we call gracious professionalism which is a core value," said Brig.

    KITV.com - Local New

  • "There are teams that help other teams, even though in the finals they may be competing against one another, it's what we call gracious professionalism which is a core value," said Brig.

    KITV.com - Local New

  • Ego: Gotta have it, but learning how to be gracious is helpful too.

    Totally Random Bullcrap

  • Being gracious is obviously NOT something that Obama supporters understand.

    Clinton adviser reflects on failed campaign

  • Of course there was the part when Bilbo Baggins cut that lady's throat, but Depp wasted in the tub ranks a little higher on the gracious, is it me or is it warm in here? 'scale.

    Johnny Depp in the Bathtub

  • This was a sacrifice of expiation; and the reason why he was allowed to offer it on Mount Moriah was partly in gracious consideration to his fear of repairing to Gibeon (1Ch 21: 29, 30), and partly in anticipation of the removal of the tabernacle and the erection of the temple there (2Ch 3: 1).

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • With your spirit, that is, with you, the soul or spirit being the immediate seat of grace, whence it influences the whole man, and flows out in gracious and holy actings.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume VI (Acts to Revelation)

  • He had piped to us in gracious and merciful providences, mourned to us in calamitous, afflicting providences, and has set the one over against the other.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume V (Matthew to John)

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