[ gruh-vey-muh n ]
/ grəˈveɪ mən /

noun, plural gra·vam·i·na [gruh-vam-uh-nuh] /grəˈvæm ə nə/. Law.

the part of an accusation that weighs most heavily against the accused; the substantial part of a charge or complaint.
a grievance.

Nearby words

  1. graunch,
  2. graupel,
  3. graustark,
  4. grav,
  5. gravadlax,
  6. grave,
  7. grave clothes,
  8. grave-wax,
  9. graveclothes,
  10. gravedigger

Origin of gravamen

1595–1605; < Late Latin: trouble, physical inconvenience, equivalent to Latin gravā(re) to load, weigh down (derivative of gravis heavy, burdened) + -men noun suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gravamen

British Dictionary definitions for gravamen


/ (ɡrəˈveɪmɛn) /

noun plural -vamina (-ˈvæmɪnə)

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 for gravamen

C17: from Late Latin: trouble, from Latin gravāre to load, from gravis heavy; see grave ²

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper