1

grave

verb \ ˈgrāv \

Definition of grave

graved; graven play \ˈgrā-vən\ or graved; graving
transitive verb
1 archaic :dig, excavate
2 a :to carve or shape with a chisel :sculpture
b :to carve or cut (something, such as letters or figures) into a hard surface :engrave
  • graved the dates of his birth and death on the headstone
3 :to impress or fix (a thought, a memory, etc.) deeply

Origin and Etymology of grave

Middle English, from Old English grafan; akin to Old High German graban to dig, Old Church Slavonic pogreti to bury


2

grave

noun

Definition of grave

1 :an excavation (see excavation 2) for burial of a body; broadly :a burial place
2 a :death 1a
  • believes there is life beyond the grave
b :death 4

Origin and Etymology of grave

Middle English, from Old English græf; akin to Old High German grab grave, Old English grafan to dig


3

grave

verb

Definition of grave

graved; graving
transitive verb
:to clean and pay with pitch
  • grave a ship's bottom

Origin and Etymology of grave

Middle English graven


4

grave

adjective \ ˈgrāv , in sense 5 often ˈgräv \

Definition of grave

graver; gravest
1 a obsolete :authoritative, weighty
b :meriting serious consideration :important
  • grave problems
c :likely to produce great harm or danger
  • a grave mistake
d :significantly serious :considerable, great
  • grave importance
2 :having a serious and dignified quality or demeanor
  • a grave and thoughtful look
3 :drab in color :somber
4 :low-pitched in sound
5 a of an accent mark :having the form `
b :marked with a grave accent
c :of the variety indicated by a grave accent

gravely

adverb

graveness

noun

Examples of grave in a Sentence

  1. This violation of school rules is a grave matter.

  2. His carelessness could have grave consequences.

  3. They have placed themselves in grave danger.

  4. I have grave doubts about this plan.

  5. suffering from a grave illness

  6. The judge issued his ruling with a grave expression.

  7. The French word père is written with a grave accent over the first e.

Did You Know?

Gravity has a familiar physical meaning but also a nonphysical meaning—basically "seriousness". Thus, something grave possesses gravity. You can refer to the gravity of a person's manner, though public figures today seem to have a lot less gravity than they used to have. Or you can talk about a grave situation, as in the example sentence. But even though Shakespeare makes a pun on grave when a dying character talks about being buried the next day ("Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man"), the word meaning "hole for burying a body" isn't actually related.

Origin and Etymology of grave

Middle French, from Latin gravis heavy, grave — more at grieve

Synonym Discussion of grave

serious, grave, solemn, sedate, staid, sober, earnest mean not light or frivolous. serious implies a concern for what really matters.
    • a serious play about social injustice
grave implies both seriousness and dignity in expression or attitude.
    • read the proclamation in a grave voice
solemn suggests an impressive gravity utterly free from levity.
    • a sad and solemn occasion
sedate implies a composed and decorous seriousness.
    • remained sedate amid the commotion
staid suggests a settled, accustomed sedateness and prim self-restraint.
    • a quiet and staid community
sober stresses seriousness of purpose and absence of levity or frivolity.
    • a sober look at the state of our schools
earnest suggests sincerity or often zealousness of purpose.
    • an earnest reformer

5

grave

noun \ ˈgrāv , ˈgräv \

Definition of grave

:a grave accent ` used to show that a vowel is pronounced with a fall of pitch (as in ancient Greek), that a vowel has a certain quality (such as è in French), that a final e is stressed and close and that a final o is stressed and low (as in Italian), that a syllable has a degree of stress between maximum and minimum (as in phonetic transcription), or that the e of the English ending -ed is to be pronounced (as in "this cursèd day")

Origin and Etymology of grave

see 4grave


6

grave

adverb or adjective gra·ve \ ˈgrä-(ˌ)vā \

Definition of grave

:slowly and solemnly used as a direction in music

Origin and Etymology of grave

Italian, literally, grave, from Latin gravis



GRAVE Defined for Kids

1

grave

noun \ ˈgrāv \

Definition of grave for Students

:a hole in the ground for burying a dead body

2

grave

adjective

Definition of grave for Students

graver; gravest
1 :very serious :important
  • grave danger
  • a grave discussion
2 :serious in appearance or manner
  • a grave voice

gravely

adverb

Word Root of grave

The Latin word gravis, meaning “heavy” or “serious,” gives us the root grav. Words from the Latin gravis have something to do with heaviness or seriousness. Something grave, or important, such as a situation, requires serious thought and consideration. To aggravate is to make a situation more serious. Gravity is a force that pulls everything towards the ground making it feel heavy.


Medical Dictionary

grave

adjective \ ˈgrāv \

medical Definition of grave

:very serious :dangerous to life used of an illness or its prospects
  • a grave prognosis


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