Fall From Grace – Idiom, Meaning & Origin

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

As a Fantasy author, I use and see the phrase “fall from grace” all the time in books about fallen angels or magical beings that lose their place in the world. But it’s also a saying that we use in real life. So, what does it really mean, and who came up with it? Let’s talk about it!

What Does It Mean to Fall From Grace?

Fall From Grace Idiom Meaning Origin

When someone falls from grace, they lose the favor or respect in the eyes of those around them, specifically those who might have been supportive or admired. We use the term to describe a situation where someone has faced a decline in their reputation or status because of something they did wrong.

You’ll see it used in a lot of religious contexts to describe a situation where a person has sinned or gone against the teachings of their faith, which results in their being seen as unworthy or unacceptable in the eyes of their community.

But, like most phrases, it can also be used in a broader sense to describe pretty much any situation where someone has suffered a significant loss of esteem or reputation.

Fall From Grace vs. Fallen From Grace vs. Falling for Grace

There are some subtle differences between the phrases “fall from grace,” “fallen from grace,” and “falling for grace.” While all three can be used to describe a loss of favor or respect, they’re also used in slightly different ways.

  • Fall from grace: Used to describe a specific event or circumstance that led to someone’s loss of reputation. “The trusted politician’s fall from grace was televised around the world after he was caught cheating.”
  • Fallen from grace: Basically, the same intent and meaning, but is used as a past tense form of it. “You have fallen from grace in my eyes after I found out you stole from me.”
  • Falling for Grace: This phrase actually has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Falling for Grace has a more positive meaning and can be used to describe how someone is falling in love with a person named Grace. It can also work as a way to show how someone is enamored with a female’s womanly grace.

Origin of the Phrase Falling From Grace

It’s a no-brainer that this phrase originally came from the Bible, in Galatians 5:4 (the King James Version), where it says, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”

I was always told that it started with the very first biblical story of Adam and Eve and how they were kicked out of Eden for taking from the sacred tree after God specifically told them not to. Their banishment was a fall from grace.

Other Ways to Say Fallen From Grace

Switch up your writing or add color to your vocabulary with these synonyms for the phrase fall from grace.

  • Lose face
  • Fall out of favor
  • To be discredited
  • Ostracized
  • To be blacklisted
  • Shunned
  • To be cast out
  • Lose the respect of

Fall From Grace Examples in a Sentence

Fall From Grace Idiom Meaning Origin 1

See how you can incorporate it with these examples of how the phrase “fall from grace” might be used in a sentence.

  • After years of success, the CEO of the company I work at fell from grace after a series of scandals that just couldn’t be covered up.
  • So many athletes fell from grace after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
  • The angel’s fall from grace led him to live a mortal life on Earth.
  • Our local pastor’s reputation was irreparably damaged when he was caught embezzling from the church, causing him to fall from grace with his congregation and our community.

Stay in Favor

This old saying goes all the way back to biblical times but still holds its original meaning today. You can use it to describe how someone has disappointed you beyond repair or how someone in the spotlight is revealed to be a bad person and loses their admirers.

Want to know more idioms? Check out some others we covered: