gravamen

play
noun gra·va·men \ grə-ˈvā-mən \

Definition of gravamen

plural gravamens or gravamina play \grə-ˈva-mə-nə\
:the material or significant part of a grievance or complaint

gravamen was our Word of the Day on 05/18/2010. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Gravamen is not a word you hear every day, but it does show up occasionally in modern-day publications. It comes from the Latin verb gravare, meaning "to burden," and ultimately from the Latin adjective gravis, meaning "heavy." Fittingly, "gravamen" refers to the part of a grievance or complaint that gives it weight or substance. In legal contexts, "gravamen" is used, synonymously with "gist," to refer to the grounds on which a legal action is sustainable. "Gravis" has given English several other weighty words, including "gravity," "grieve," and the adjective grave, meaning "important" or "serious."

Origin and Etymology of gravamen

Late Latin, burden, from Latin gravare to burden, from gravis


Law Dictionary

gravamen

play
noun gra·va·men \ grə-ˈvā-mən \

legal Definition of gravamen

:gist

Origin and Etymology of gravamen

Medieval Latin, from Late Latin, burden, from Latin gravare to burden, from gravis heavy, grave


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to curse or denounce

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