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act of grace
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Grace \Grace\ (gr[=a]s), n. [F. gr[^a]ce, L. gratia, from gratus beloved, dear, agreeable; perh. akin to Gr. ? to rejoice, cha`ris favor, grace, Skr. hary to desire, and E. yearn. Cf. Grateful, Gratis.] 1. The exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor; disposition to benefit or serve another; favor bestowed or privilege conferred. [1913 Webster] To bow and sue for grace With suppliant knee. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. (Theol.) The divine favor toward man; the mercy of God, as distinguished from His justice; also, any benefits His mercy imparts; divine love or pardon; a state of acceptance with God; enjoyment of the divine favor. [1913 Webster] And if by grace, then is it no more of works. --Rom. xi. 6. [1913 Webster] My grace is sufficicnt for thee. --2 Cor. xii. 9. [1913 Webster] Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. --Rom. v. 20. [1913 Webster] By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand. --Rom. v.2 [1913 Webster] 3. (Law) (a) The prerogative of mercy execised by the executive, as pardon. (b) The same prerogative when exercised in the form of equitable relief through chancery. [1913 Webster] 4. Fortune; luck; -- used commonly with hard or sorry when it means misfortune. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 5. Inherent excellence; any endowment or characteristic fitted to win favor or confer pleasure or benefit. [1913 Webster] He is complete in feature and in mind. With all good grace to grace a gentleman. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 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. --Blair. [1913 Webster] 6. Beauty, physical, intellectual, or moral; loveliness; commonly, easy elegance of manners; perfection of form. [1913 Webster] Grace in women gains the affections sooner, and secures them longer, than any thing else. --Hazlitt. [1913 Webster] I shall answer and thank you again For the gift and the grace of the gift. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster] 7. pl. (Myth.) Graceful and beautiful females, sister goddesses, represented by ancient writers as the attendants sometimes of Apollo but oftener of Venus. They were commonly mentioned as three in number; namely, Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia, and were regarded as the inspirers of the qualities which give attractiveness to wisdom, love, and social intercourse. [1913 Webster] The Graces love to weave the rose. --Moore. [1913 Webster] The Loves delighted, and the Graces played. --Prior. [1913 Webster] 8. The title of a duke, a duchess, or an archbishop, and formerly of the king of England. [1913 Webster] How fares your Grace ! --Shak. [1913 Webster] 9. (Commonly pl.) Thanks. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Yielding graces and thankings to their lord Melibeus. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 10. A petition for grace; a blessing asked, or thanks rendered, before or after a meal. [1913 Webster] 11. pl. (Mus.) Ornamental notes or short passages, either introduced by the performer, or indicated by the composer, in which case the notation signs are called grace notes, appeggiaturas, turns, etc. [1913 Webster] 12. (Eng. Universities) An act, vote, or decree of the government of the institution; a degree or privilege conferred by such vote or decree. --Walton. [1913 Webster] 13. pl. A play designed to promote or display grace of motion. It consists in throwing a small hoop from one player to another, by means of two sticks in the hands of each. Called also grace hoop or hoops. [1913 Webster] Act of grace. See under Act. Day of grace (Theol.), the time of probation, when the offer of divine forgiveness is made and may be accepted. [1913 Webster] That day of grace fleets fast away. --I. Watts. Days of grace (Com.), the days immediately following the day when a bill or note becomes due, which days are allowed to the debtor or payer to make payment in. In Great Britain and the United States, the days of grace are three, but in some countries more, the usages of merchants being different. Good graces, favor; friendship. Grace cup. (a) A cup or vessel in which a health is drunk after grace. (b) A health drunk after grace has been said. [1913 Webster] The grace cup follows to his sovereign's health. --Hing. Grace drink, a drink taken on rising from the table; a grace cup. [1913 Webster] To [Queen Margaret, of Scotland] . . . we owe the custom of the grace drink, she having established it as a rule at her table, that whosoever staid till grace was said was rewarded with a bumper. --Encyc. Brit. Grace hoop, a hoop used in playing graces. See Grace, n., 13. Grace note (Mus.), an appoggiatura. See Appoggiatura, and def. 11 above. Grace stroke, a finishing stoke or touch; a coup de grace. Means of grace, means of securing knowledge of God, or favor with God, as the preaching of the gospel, etc. To do grace, to reflect credit upon. [1913 Webster] Content to do the profession some grace. --Shak. To say grace, to render thanks before or after a meal. With a good grace, in a fit and proper manner grace fully; graciously. With a bad grace, in a forced, reluctant, or perfunctory manner; ungraciously. [1913 Webster] What might have been done with a good grace would at least be done with a bad grace. --Macaulay. Syn: Elegance; comeliness; charm; favor; kindness; mercy. Usage: Grace, Mercy. These words, though often interchanged, have each a distinctive and peculiar meaning. Grace, in the strict sense of the term, is spontaneous favor to the guilty or undeserving; mercy is kindness or compassion to the suffering or condemned. It was the grace of God that opened a way for the exercise of mercy toward men. See Elegance. [1913 Webster] .
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Act \Act\ ([a^]kt), n. [L. actus, fr. agere to drive, do: cf. F. acte. See Agent.] 1. That which is done or doing; the exercise of power, or the effect, of which power exerted is the cause; a performance; a deed. [1913 Webster] That best portion of a good man's life, His little, nameless, unremembered acts Of kindness and of love. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster] Hence, in specific uses: (a) The result of public deliberation; the decision or determination of a legislative body, council, court of justice, etc.; a decree, edit, law, judgment, resolve, award; as, an act of Parliament, or of Congress. (b) A formal solemn writing, expressing that something has been done. --Abbott. (c) A performance of part of a play; one of the principal divisions of a play or dramatic work in which a certain definite part of the action is completed. (d) A thesis maintained in public, in some English universities, by a candidate for a degree, or to show the proficiency of a student. [1913 Webster] 2. A state of reality or real existence as opposed to a possibility or possible existence. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The seeds of plants are not at first in act, but in possibility, what they afterward grow to be. --Hooker. [1913 Webster] 3. Process of doing; action. In act, in the very doing; on the point of (doing). "In act to shoot." --Dryden. [1913 Webster] This woman was taken . . . in the very act. --John viii. 4. [1913 Webster] Act of attainder. (Law) See Attainder. Act of bankruptcy (Law), an act of a debtor which renders him liable to be adjudged a bankrupt. Act of faith. (Ch. Hist.) See Auto-da-F['e]. Act of God (Law), an inevitable accident; such extraordinary interruption of the usual course of events as is not to be looked for in advance, and against which ordinary prudence could not guard. Act of grace, an expression often used to designate an act declaring pardon or amnesty to numerous offenders, as at the beginning of a new reign. Act of indemnity, a statute passed for the protection of those who have committed some illegal act subjecting them to penalties. --Abbott. Act in pais, a thing done out of court (anciently, in the country), and not a matter of record. [1913 Webster] Syn: See Action. [1913 Webster]