[ greyv ]
/ greɪv /
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See synonyms for: grave / graved / graven / gravest on Thesaurus.com


an excavation made in the earth in which to bury a dead body.
any place of interment; a tomb or sepulcher: a watery grave.
any place that becomes the receptacle of what is dead, lost, or past: the grave of unfulfilled ambitions.
death: O grave, where is thy victory?



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Idioms for grave

    have one foot in the grave, to be so frail, sick, or old that death appears imminent: It was a shock to see my uncle looking as if he had one foot in the grave.
    make (one) turn / turn over in one's grave, to do something to which a specified dead person would have objected bitterly: This production of Hamlet is enough to make Shakespeare turn in his grave.

Origin of grave

First recorded before 1000; Middle English; Old English græf; cognate with German Grab; see grave3
graveless, adjectivegravelike, adjectivegraveward, gravewards, adverb, adjective

Definition for grave (2 of 5)

[ greyv; for 4, 6 also grahv ]
/ greɪv; for 4, 6 also grɑv /

adjective, grav·er, grav·est for 1-3, 5.

serious or solemn; sober: a grave person;grave thoughts.
weighty, momentous, or important: grave responsibilities.
threatening a seriously bad outcome or involving serious issues; critical: a grave situation;a grave illness.
  1. unaccented.
  2. spoken on a low or falling pitch.
  3. noting or having a particular accent (`) indicating originally a comparatively low pitch (as in French père), distinct syllabic value (as in English belovèd), etc. (opposed to acute).
(of colors) dull; somber.


the grave accent.

Origin of grave

First recorded in 1535–45; from Middle French, from Latin gravis; akin to Greek barýs “heavy”
1. Grave, sober, solemn refer to the condition of being serious in demeanor or appearance. Grave indicates a weighty dignity, or the character, aspect, demeanor, speech, etc., of one conscious of heavy responsibilities or cares, or of threatening possibilities: The jury looked grave while studying the evidence. Sober (from its original sense of freedom from intoxication, and hence temperate, staid, sedate) has come to indicate absence of levity, gaiety, or mirth, and thus to be akin to serious and grave: as sober as a judge; a sober expression on one's face. Solemn implies an impressive seriousness and deep earnestness: The minister's voice was solemn as he announced the text.
gravely, adverbgraveness, nounun·grave·ly, adverb
gravely , gravelly

Definition for grave (3 of 5)

[ greyv ]
/ greɪv /

verb (used with object), graved,grav·en or graved,grav·ing.

to carve, sculpt, or engrave.
to impress deeply: graven on the mind.

Origin of grave

First recorded before 1000; Middle English graven, Old English grafan; cognate with German graben
graver, noun

Definition for grave (4 of 5)

[ greyv ]
/ greɪv /

verb (used with object), graved, grav·ing.Nautical.

to clean and apply a protective composition of tar to (the bottom of a ship).

Origin of grave

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English; perhaps akin to gravel

Definition for grave (5 of 5)

[ grah-vey; Italian grah-ve ]
/ ˈgrɑ veɪ; Italian ˈgrɑ vɛ /



Origin of grave

First recorded in 1575–85; from Italian grave, from Latin gravis “heavy”; see grave2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for grave (1 of 5)

/ (ɡreɪv) /


a place for the burial of a corpse, esp beneath the ground and usually marked by a tombstoneRelated adjective: sepulchral
something resembling a grave or resting placethe ship went to its grave
the grave a poetic term for death
have one foot in the grave informal to be near death
to make someone turn in his grave or to make someone turn over in his grave to do something that would have shocked or distressed (someone now dead)many modern dictionaries would make Dr Johnson turn in his grave
Old English græf; related to Old Frisian gref, Old High German grab, Old Slavonic grobǔ; see grave ³

British Dictionary definitions for grave (2 of 5)

/ (ɡreɪv) /


serious and solemna grave look
full of or suggesting dangera grave situation
important; crucialgrave matters of state
(of colours) sober or dull
  1. (of a vowel or syllable in some languages with a pitch accent, such as ancient Greek) spoken on a lower or falling musical pitch relative to neighbouring syllables or vowels
  2. of or relating to an accent (`) over vowels, denoting a pronunciation with lower or falling musical pitch (as in ancient Greek), with certain special quality (as in French), or in a manner that gives the vowel status as a syllable nucleus not usually possessed by it in that position (as in English agèd)Compare acute (def. 8), circumflex


a grave accent
gravely, adverbgraveness, noun
C16: from Old French, from Latin gravis; related to Greek barus heavy; see gravamen

British Dictionary definitions for grave (3 of 5)

/ (ɡreɪv) /

verb graves, graving, graved, graved or graven (tr) archaic

to cut, carve, sculpt, or engrave
to fix firmly in the mind
Old English grafan; related to Old Norse grafa, Old High German graban to dig

British Dictionary definitions for grave (4 of 5)

/ (ɡreɪv) /


(tr) nautical to clean and apply a coating of pitch to (the bottom of a vessel)
C15: perhaps from Old French grave gravel

British Dictionary definitions for grave (5 of 5)

/ (ˈɡrɑːvɪ) /

adjective, adverb

music to be performed in a solemn manner
C17: from Italian: heavy, from Latin gravis
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

Medical definitions for grave

[ grāv ]


Serious or dangerous, as a symptom or disease.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with grave


see dig one's own grave; from the cradle to the grave; one foot in the grave; turn in one's grave.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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