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[greyt-fuh l] /ˈgreɪt fəl/
warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful:
I am grateful to you for your help.
expressing or actuated by gratitude:
a grateful letter.
pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing:
a grateful breeze.
Origin of grateful
1545-55; obsolete grate pleasing (< Latin grātus) + -ful
Related forms
gratefully, adverb
gratefulness, noun
overgrateful, adjective
overgratefully, adverb
overgratefulness, noun
quasi-grateful, adjective
quasi-gratefully, adverb
Can be confused
grateful, gratified (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. obliged, indebted. Grateful, thankful describe an appreciative attitude for what one has received. Grateful indicates a warm or deep appreciation of personal kindness as shown to one: grateful for favors; grateful to one's neighbors for help in time of trouble. Thankful indicates a disposition to express gratitude by giving thanks, as to a benefactor or to a merciful Providence; there is often a sense of deliverance as well as of appreciation: thankful that one's life was spared in an accident; thankful for the comfort of one's general situation. 3. pleasant, gratifying, satisfying. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for gratefulness
Historical Examples
  • Then there is the other peace, it is the peace of gratefulness: “Be ye thankful.”

    Sermons Preached at Brighton Frederick W. Robertson
  • He has the ways of our dog-friends, their patience and fidelity, their gratefulness for pats.

    Lotus Buds Amy Carmichael
  • He looked at her kindly, with little shivers of gratefulness running along the corners of his temples.

    Two banks of the Seine Fernand Vandrem
  • I will ever have a lively feeling of gratefulness for your devotion.

    The False Chevalier William Douw Lighthall
  • Instead, he beheld Heidi's bright eyes looking up at him in gratefulness and love.

    Heidi Johanna Spyri
  • Handel was engaged there with gratefulness by promising “some better music.”

    Handel Romain Rolland
  • I felt an emotion of gratefulness at the sight of the mysterious little creatures animating this solitude, whither, alas!

    The Insect Jules Michelet
  • He felt again the elation of his appointment, the gratefulness of appreciation.

    Mortmain Arthur Cheny Train
  • And he drank with that fullness and gratefulness common to the desert traveler finding sweet water.

  • I go to you in gratefulness, knowing what I lack and what you need.

    Love's Pilgrimage Upton Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for gratefulness


thankful for gifts, favours, etc; appreciative
showing gratitude: a grateful letter
favourable or pleasant: a grateful rest
Derived Forms
gratefully, adverb
gratefulness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from obsolete grate, from Latin grātus + -ful
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gratefulness



1550s, "pleasing to the mind," also "full of gratitude," from obsolete adj. grate "agreeable, thankful," from Latin gratus "pleasing" (see grace). "A most unusual formation" [Weekley]. Hard to think of another case where English uses -ful to make an adjective from an adjective. Related: Gratefully; gratefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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