Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

grave2

[greyv; for 4, 6 also grahv]
See more synonyms for grave on Thesaurus.com
adjective, grav·er, grav·est for 1–3, 5.
  1. serious or solemn; sober: a grave person; grave thoughts.
  2. weighty, momentous, or important: grave responsibilities.
  3. threatening a seriously bad outcome or involving serious issues; critical: a grave situation; a grave illness.
  4. Grammar.
    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).
  5. (of colors) dull; somber.
Show More
noun
  1. the grave accent.
Show More

Origin of grave2

1535–45; < Middle French < Latin gravis; akin to Greek barýs heavy
Related formsgrave·ly, adverbgrave·ness, nounun·grave·ly, adverb
Can be confusedgravely gravelly

Synonyms

See more synonyms for grave on Thesaurus.com
1. sedate, staid, thoughtful. 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.

Antonyms

1. frivolous, gay.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for graveness

Historical Examples

  • Because of the graveness of their situation, love had to stand aside.

    The Moon Rock

    Arthur J. Rees

  • Stuart said with a graveness that rebuked her flippancy: Do you love him so little as to remain always apart?

    Twos and Threes

    G. B. Stern

  • The commencement of the master's speech and the graveness of his tone sent a serious thrill through the hearts of the boys.

    Through the Fray

    G. A. Henty

  • It is not a time to falter before the graveness of our responsibility and the magnitude of our undertakings.

    The Secret Witness

    George Gibbs

  • The graveness of the situation now dawned upon her mind with a terrible force—Hualcoyotl had chosen her to be his queen.

    A Prince of Anahuac

    James A. Porter


British Dictionary definitions for graveness

grave1

noun
  1. a place for the burial of a corpse, esp beneath the ground and usually marked by a tombstoneRelated adjective: sepulchral
  2. something resembling a grave or resting placethe ship went to its grave
  3. the grave a poetic term for death
  4. have one foot in the grave informal to be near death
  5. 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
Show More

Word Origin

Old English græf; related to Old Frisian gref, Old High German grab, Old Slavonic grobǔ; see grave ³

grave2

adjective
  1. serious and solemna grave look
  2. full of or suggesting dangera grave situation
  3. important; crucialgrave matters of state
  4. (of colours) sober or dull
  5. phonetics
    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
Show More
noun
  1. a grave accent
Show More
Derived Formsgravely, adverbgraveness, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Old French, from Latin gravis; related to Greek barus heavy; see gravamen

grave3

verb graves, graving, graved, graved or graven (tr) archaic
  1. to cut, carve, sculpt, or engrave
  2. to fix firmly in the mind
Show More

Word Origin

Old English grafan; related to Old Norse grafa, Old High German graban to dig

grave4

verb
  1. (tr) nautical to clean and apply a coating of pitch to (the bottom of a vessel)
Show More

Word Origin

C15: perhaps from Old French grave gravel

grave5

adjective, adverb
  1. music to be performed in a solemn manner
Show More

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for graveness

grave

n.

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.

Show More

grave

adj.

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.

Show More

grave

v.

"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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

graveness in Medicine

grave

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

Idioms and Phrases with graveness

grave

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

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