graceful, gracious
Both words are derived from Latin gratia meaning ‘the quality of being pleasing’, but their meanings are different. Graceful means ‘having or showing grace or elegance’ and is generally used of physical appearance and movement (a graceful bow / graceful dances / a graceful gesture / graceful lines / a graceful movement). Gracious means ‘showing grace, kindly, courteous’ and refers to things that people say and do rather than their physical attributes (gracious acknowledgement / gracious hospitality / a gracious response). It also has the meaning ‘characterized by elegance and wealth’ (gracious living / gracious wealth). The adverb graciously occurs often in the meaning ‘courteously, kindly’:

• ‘Oh, aye,’ said Jock graciously, ‘he's magic with that mashie.’ —Scotsman, 1976.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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  • Graceful — Grace ful, a. Displaying grace or beauty in form or action; elegant; easy; agreeable in appearance; as, a graceful walk, deportment, speaker, air, act, speech. [1913 Webster] High o er the rest in arms the graceful Turnus rode. Dryden. {Grace… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • graceful — index diplomatic, elegant, eloquent Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • graceful — англ. [грэ/йсфул] gracieusement фр. [грасьёзма/н] gracieux [грасьё/] грациозно, изящно …   Словарь иностранных музыкальных терминов

  • graceful — mid 15c., full of grace, also pleasant, sweet, from GRACE (Cf. grace) + FUL (Cf. ful). Meaning with pleasing or attractive qualities is from 1580s. Related: Gracefully; gracefulness …   Etymology dictionary

  • graceful — [adj] agile, charming, lovely adroit, aesthetic, artistic, balletic, beautiful, becoming, comely, controlled, curvaceous, dainty, decorative, delicate, dexterous, easy, elastic, elegant, exquisite, fair, fine, flowing, handsome, harmonious,… …   New thesaurus

  • graceful — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ having or showing grace or elegance. DERIVATIVES gracefully adverb gracefulness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • graceful — [grās′fəl] adj. having grace, or beauty of form, composition, movement, or expression; elegant gracefully adv. gracefulness n …   English World dictionary

  • graceful — [[t]gre͟ɪsfʊl[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED Someone or something that is graceful moves in a smooth and controlled way which is attractive to watch. His movements were so graceful they seemed effortless. ...graceful ballerinas. Ant: graceless Derived words …   English dictionary

  • graceful — grace|ful [ greısfəl ] adjective * 1. ) graceful movement is smooth and beautiful: She rose to her feet in one graceful movement. 2. ) a graceful shape or object is attractive: graceful Moorish architecture graceful arms and feet 3. ) showing… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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