- 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?
- 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 overin 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 grave1
- 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.
- (of colors) dull; somber.
- the grave accent.
Origin of grave2
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- to carve, sculpt, or engrave.
- to impress deeply: graven on the mind.
Origin of grave3
- to clean and apply a protective composition of tar to (the bottom of a ship).
Origin of grave4
- slow; solemn.
- slowly; solemnly.
Origin of grave5
Related Wordsheavy, subdued, sage, quiet, earnest, sedate, sober, dull, dignified, muted, acute, major, threatening, pressing, killing, fell, crypt, sepulcher, catacomb, shrine
Examples from the Web for grave
That distant whirring sound you hear is a long-dead Greek physician spinning in his grave.Why So Many Surgeons Are Psychos
December 17, 2014
A “komitetchik par excellence,” a man of “outstanding mediocrity,” and “the grave digger of the revolution.”Kotkin Biography Reveals Stalin's Evil Pragmatism
November 30, 2014
“I read articles that say ‘here’s another white girl joining in on the dance party on the grave of hip hop,” she says.From Church of Christ to Pansexual Rapper
November 28, 2014
According to Beaton, the additional downturn in tourism will have grave consequences.Ebola Could Deal a Death Blow to Africa’s Wildlife
November 3, 2014
We are making light of a grave issue, and turning private pain into public entertainment.From Britney to Bynes, Why Do We Love Watching Mentally Ill Celebs?
October 17, 2014
“I mean a man sad and grave as the monks of Beaulieu,” said the jester.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
Then he set to work and made himself a grave which was to endure for all time.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
See what grave reflections an innocent subject will produce!
Excuse me, my dear friend, for these grave soliloquies, as I may call them.
What way will I live and the girls with me, and I an old woman looking for the grave?Riders to the Sea
J. M. Synge
- 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
- serious and solemna grave look
- full of or suggesting dangera grave situation
- important; crucialgrave matters of state
- (of colours) sober or dull
- (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
- 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
- to cut, carve, sculpt, or engrave
- to fix firmly in the mind
- (tr) nautical to clean and apply a coating of pitch to (the bottom of a vessel)
- music to be performed in a solemn manner
Word Origin and History for grave
Old English græf "grave, ditch, cave," from Proto-Germanic *graban (cf. Old Saxon graf, Old Frisian gref, Old High German grab "grave, tomb;" Old Norse gröf "cave," Gothic graba "ditch"), from PIE root *ghrebh- "to dig, to scratch, to scrape" (cf. Old Church Slavonic grobu "grave, tomb"); related to grafan "to dig" (see grave (v.)).
"The normal mod. representation of OE. græf would be graff; the ME. disyllable grave, from which the standard mod. form descends, was prob. due to the especially frequent occurrence of the word in the dat. (locative) case. [OED]
From Middle Ages to 17c., they were temporary, crudely marked repositories from which the bones were removed to ossuaries after some years and the grave used for a fresh burial. "Perpetual graves" became common from c.1650. To make (someone) turn in his grave "behave in some way that would have offended the dead person" is first recorded 1888.
1540s, from Middle French grave (14c.), from Latin gravis "weighty, serious, heavy, grievous, oppressive," from PIE root *gwere- "heavy" (cf. Sanskrit guruh "heavy, weighty, venerable;" Greek baros "weight," barys "heavy in weight," often with the notion of "strength, force;" Old English cweorn "quern;" Gothic kaurus "heavy;" Lettish gruts "heavy"). Greek barys (opposed to kouphos) also was used figuratively, of suffering, sorrow, sobbing, and could mean "oppressive, burdensome, grave, dignified, impressive." The noun meaning "accent mark over a vowel" is c.1600, from French.
"to engrave," Old English grafan (medial -f- pronounced as "v" in Old English; past tense grof, past participle grafen) "to dig, carve, dig up," from Proto-Germanic *grabanan (cf. Old Norse grafa, Old Frisian greva, Dutch graven, Old High German graban, German graben, Gothic graban "to dig, carve"), from the same source as grave (n.). Its Middle English strong past participle, graven, is the only part still active, the rest of the word supplanted by its derivative, engrave.
- Serious or dangerous, as a symptom or disease.
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.