[ greyv ]
/ greɪv /


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?

Nearby words

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


    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 grave

before 1000; Middle English; Old English græf; cognate with German Grab; see grave3

Related formsgrave·less, adjectivegrave·like, adjectivegrave·ward, grave·wards, adverb, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for have one foot in the grave


/ (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


/ (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 Formsgravely, adverbgraveness, noun

Word Origin for grave

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


/ (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


/ (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


/ (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

Word Origin and History for have one foot in the grave
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for have one foot in the 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 have one foot in the 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.