[ grey-ver ]
/ ˈgreɪ vər /


any of various tools for chasing, engraving, etc., as a burin.
an engraver.

Origin of graver

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at grave3, -er1

Definition for graver (2 of 3)


[ 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

1535–45; < Middle French < Latin gravis; akin to Greek barýs heavy


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.


Related forms

grave·ly, adverbgrave·ness, nounun·grave·ly, adverb

Can be confused

gravely gravelly

Definition for graver (3 of 3)


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


slow; solemn.


slowly; solemnly.

Origin of grave

1575–85; < Italian grave < Latin gravis heavy; see grave2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for graver

British Dictionary definitions for graver (1 of 6)


/ (ˈɡreɪvə) /


any of various engraving, chasing, or sculpting tools, such as a burin

British Dictionary definitions for graver (2 of 6)


/ (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

Word Origin for grave

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

British Dictionary definitions for graver (3 of 6)


/ (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

Derived Forms

gravely, adverbgraveness, noun

Word Origin for grave

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

British Dictionary definitions for graver (4 of 6)


/ (ɡreɪv) /

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

to cut, carve, sculpt, or engrave
to fix firmly in the mind

Word Origin for grave

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

British Dictionary definitions for graver (5 of 6)


/ (ɡreɪv) /


(tr) nautical to clean and apply a coating of pitch to (the bottom of a vessel)

Word Origin for grave

C15: perhaps from Old French grave gravel

British Dictionary definitions for graver (6 of 6)


/ (ˈɡrɑːvɪ) /

adjective, adverb

music to be performed in a solemn manner

Word Origin for grave

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

Medicine definitions for graver


[ 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 graver


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.