Synonyms & Antonyms of grave

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 a final resting place for a dead person
  • the forlorn boy put flowers on his mother's grave

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2 the permanent stopping of all the vital bodily activities
  • a rock star who found his early grave in a plane crash

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3 the state of being dead
  • a terrible fear of the grave

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Synonyms & Antonyms of grave (Entry 2 of 3)

1 having a matter of importance as its topic
  • leaving gossip and celebrities to other magazines, this journal focuses on the grave issues confronting the nation

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4 having a low musical pitch or range
  • a grave hexachord

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Synonyms of grave (Entry 3 of 3)

to cut (as letters or designs) on a hard surface
  • the doomed climber graved his initials into the rock face

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About grave

How is the word grave different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of grave are earnest, sedate, serious, sober, solemn, and staid. While all these words mean "not light or frivolous," grave implies both seriousness and dignity in expression or attitude.

read the proclamation in a grave voice

When can earnest be used instead of grave?

The synonyms earnest and grave are sometimes interchangeable, but earnest suggests sincerity or often zealousness of purpose.

an earnest reformer

Where would sedate be a reasonable alternative to grave?

The words sedate and grave can be used in similar contexts, but sedate implies a composed and decorous seriousness.

remained sedate amid the commotion

When would serious be a good substitute for grave?

While the synonyms serious and grave are close in meaning, serious implies a concern for what really matters.

a serious play about social injustice

In what contexts can sober take the place of grave?

Although the words sober and grave have much in common, sober stresses seriousness of purpose and absence of levity or frivolity.

a sober look at the state of our schools

When is solemn a more appropriate choice than grave?

The words solemn and grave are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, solemn suggests an impressive gravity utterly free from levity.

a sad and solemn occasion

When might staid be a better fit than grave?

In some situations, the words staid and grave are roughly equivalent. However, staid suggests a settled, accustomed sedateness and prim self-restraint.

a quiet and staid community

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Time Traveler for grave

Time Traveler

The first known use of grave was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Grave.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on grave

Dictionary: Definition of grave

Medical Dictionary: Definition of grave

Nglish: Translation of grave for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grave for Arabic Speakers

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