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Favour vs. Grace: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 4, 2023
Favour implies approval or preference, while grace denotes elegance or divine assistance; both convey goodwill.

Key Differences

Favour often suggests a kind or supportive gesture, stemming from preference or goodwill. Grace, meanwhile, can point to a person's elegant manner or a divinely bestowed blessing. While one might show favour by supporting a friend's idea, observing someone move with poise might be described as moving with grace.
The act of favouring involves a conscious choice, often denoting preference or endorsement. Grace, in its spiritual context, is the free and unmerited favour of God as manifested in the salvation of sinners. This shows how the term "favour" can be nested within the broader, more spiritual context of "grace."
In interpersonal contexts, favour is typically about doing something beneficial for someone, like doing them a favour. Grace, on the other hand, often pertains to a quality or characteristic, such as handling situations with grace, implying tact and diplomacy.
Culturally, both words are multifaceted. In certain contexts, to be "in someone's favour" is to be liked or approved by them. Meanwhile, "falling from grace" denotes a loss of status or respect. Both terms, though distinct, highlight the social and moral dynamics of human interaction.

Comparison Chart

Primary Meaning

Approval or preference
Elegance or divine assistance

Contextual Usage

Act of kindness or support
Quality of being or divine blessing

Interpersonal Implication

Doing something beneficial for someone
A quality or characteristic of elegance

Cultural Expression

Being liked or approved by someone
A status of respect or admiration

Spiritual Connotation

Can denote preference
Free and unmerited divine favour

Favour and Grace Definitions


An act of kindness beyond what is due.
He did me a favour by driving me to the airport.


A period granted as a special favor.
The bank gave a grace period of ten days for the payment.


A preference for one thing over another.
She showed favour to the blue dress over the red one.


A prayer said before a meal.
They bowed their heads to say grace.


Approval or endorsement.
The project was looked upon with favour by the committee.


Elegance or poise.
She moved with such grace that everyone admired her.


A biased or partial perspective.
The judge must not show favour to any party involved.


Divine assistance or blessing.
By the grace of God, he recovered from the illness.


A condition of being approved or liked.
The artist fell out of favour after his controversial remarks.


Courteous goodwill.
She accepted the criticism with grace.


Variant of favor.


Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion.


(British spelling) favor
I need a favour. Could you lend me £5 until tomorrow, please?
Can you do me a favour and drop these letters in the post box?


A characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement.


(British spelling) favor


A sense of fitness or propriety.


A feeling of favorable regard


A disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill.


What does grace imply in terms of movement?

When referring to movement, grace implies elegance and poise.

How is favour commonly used in everyday language?

Favour is often used to denote a kind act or gesture, as in "doing someone a favour."

Can favour have negative implications?

Yes, favour can suggest bias or unfair preference, as in "showing favouritism."

What's the religious significance of grace?

In many religions, grace represents the unmerited blessings or mercy from God.

How does one "handle a situation with grace"?

It means managing a situation with elegance, poise, and tact.

Can you "ask for a favour"?

Yes, it means you're requesting someone to help or assist you in some way.

How might one "win the favour" of someone?

Winning someone's favour means gaining their approval or affection, often through kind acts or gestures.

How can one "fall from grace"?

Falling from grace means losing reputation or respect due to a mistake or misdeed.

What does "moving with grace" imply?

It suggests moving with elegance, fluidity, and poise.

Is favour always positive?

Not always. It can also mean bias, which might be unjust or unfair.

Can favour be tangible?

While favour usually denotes a sentiment or action, it can result in tangible outcomes, like gifts.

What does it mean to "say grace"?

Saying grace refers to a short prayer before a meal, thanking God for the food.

How is favour related to favoritism?

Favoritism is the practice of giving unfair preference, stemming from the word "favour."

How do you use favour in the context of preference?

"She has a favour for classical music over rock."

Can objects possess grace?

Yes, objects, especially art or design pieces, can be described as having grace if they exude elegance.

What is "divine grace"?

Divine grace refers to the free and unmerited favor or blessings from God.

What's the opposite of favour in terms of dislike?

The opposite could be "disfavour" or "disapproval."

How is grace used in the context of time?

In terms of time, grace can mean a period granted as a special favor, like a "grace period" for payment.

What does "state of grace" mean?

It often refers to spiritual purity or being free from sin.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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