- the part of an accusation that weighs most heavily against the accused; the substantial part of a charge or complaint.
- a grievance.
Origin of gravamen
Related Wordsbasic, bosom, center, core, crux, essence, focus, gist, hub, kernel, marrow, meat, middle, nitty-gritty, nub, nucleus, pith, quick, quintessence, root
Examples from the Web for gravamen
It is the breach of this affection and preference which constitutes the gravamen.Folkways
William Graham Sumner
The gravamen of the charge is so well known to the reader that the simple account which Phineas gave of it need not be repeated.The Prime Minister
Now she was face to face with the gravamen of her depression, with an alert morning mind to sift over its elements.The Eddy
Clarence L. Cullen
The gravamen of his offence was that he had been ashamed of her; now she was being ashamed of herself.Mrs. Maxon Protests
The gravamen of the charge against the police was that they had found the knife before Pellizioni was tried.Mysteries of Police and Crime
- law that part of an accusation weighing most heavily against an accused
- law the substance or material grounds of a complaint
- a rare word for grievance
Word Origin and History for gravamen
"grievance," 1640s, from Late Latin gravamen "trouble, physical inconvenience" (in Medieval Latin, "a grievance"), from gravare "to burden, aggravate," from gravis "heavy" (see grave (adj.)).