Main definitions of grave in English

: grave1grave2grave3grave4grave5

grave1

noun

  • 1A hole dug in the ground to receive a coffin or dead body, typically marked by a stone or mound.

    ‘the coffin was lowered into the grave’
    ‘a mass grave’
    • ‘There was a telephone number to ring if one had graves in the churchyard.’
    • ‘Tommy was laid to rest in the family grave in the adjoining cemetery.’
    • ‘Burial is in local cemeteries, and family graves are well tended.’
    • ‘The relatives of all those buried in the graveyards had decorated their graves for the occasion.’
    • ‘Visiting a war grave is something everyone should endeavour to do at one point in life.’
    • ‘He died apparently in poverty and was buried in a pauper's grave.’
    • ‘They would put cash gifts towards updating the stone at the grave where Evelyn was buried with her husband and daughter.’
    • ‘I have seen the graves of the Indian soldiers in the military cemeteries of France.’
    • ‘The unadorned stones had marked the graves of unidentified Confederate soldiers.’
    • ‘The unmarked mass graves have been watched and revered by them for decades.’
    • ‘Family members gather and visit the graves of their ancestors to burn offerings of paper money and incense.’
    • ‘With the other executed rebels, his body was put into a mass grave with no coffin.’
    • ‘The body was buried in an unmarked grave in the town cemetery.’
    • ‘I found my mother's grave had been knocked over and saw others had been vandalised too.’
    • ‘Beads have been excavated in large numbers from early period female Viking graves.’
    • ‘Sasha looked down at her sister's fresh grave.’
    • ‘If you ever visit Canada take a day to visit the graves of our beloved ancestors.’
    • ‘Most of the missing are believed to be buried in mass graves, and several mass grave sites have already been found and exhumed.’
    • ‘Mass graves were dug on the outskirts of the city for thousands of the bodies.’
    • ‘Marking graves with stones was one of the characteristics that continued through centuries and religions.’
    burying place, tomb, sepulchre, vault, burial chamber, burial pit, mausoleum, crypt, catacomb
    last home, last resting place
    tumulus, barrow
    undercroft
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Used as an allusive term for death.
      ‘life beyond the grave’
      • ‘But the messages are hideously banal, more likely to comment on the new kitchen cabinets than impart any profound wisdom from beyond the grave.’
      • ‘Even the author's most sympathetic reviewers have expressed the opinion that this sexual encounter from beyond the grave is an unsuccessful instance of overreaching.’
      • ‘But the woman whose picture on the cover of a newspaper could boost circulation by 20,000 copies can still work magic from beyond the grave.’
      • ‘It is often at the graveside that people's ears and hearts strain to hear a word that carries beyond death and the grave.’
      • ‘Was there any truth in the stories we had been told, did the Souls really come back from beyond the grave on that evening?’
      • ‘People are unable to face death, they say, only belief in life beyond the grave will console them.’
      • ‘Death will no longer be the last word: two Dublin businessmen are planning to allow people to communicate from beyond the grave, not through mediums but by e-mail.’
      • ‘All the secular knowledge in the world will not give a man joy and gladness, when he thinks on sickness, and death, and the grave.’
      • ‘They say they can talk to the dead, prove there is life after death and deliver messages to the grieving from beyond the grave.’
      • ‘They have made a covenant with Death and the grave.’
      • ‘He had no hope beyond the grave; he mocked at death; he was in his seventy-seventh year.’
      • ‘She's even said she attributes her survival in a recent air crash (her plane plowed into a snowbank) to her mother's protective influence from beyond the grave.’
      • ‘Their victims now speak from beyond the grave to judge them.’
      • ‘The site also includes a fascinating discussion of Harry Houdini's pact with his wife Bess to attempt to communicate from beyond the grave.’
      • ‘The plot is a typical fireside ghost story - murder, infidelity and a message from beyond the grave - and the thrills are familiar.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, mom's heart may not be beating, but she's still with them, naggingly offering irritating guilt trips from beyond the grave.’
      • ‘Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them.’
      • ‘Anguished voices have a way of echoing beyond the grave.’
      • ‘Somehow, you feel that even now, 17 years later, he's still exerting his influence from beyond the grave…’
      • ‘There's something compelling, even mythic, about a boy reaching out from beyond the grave to save the children of his family's sworn enemy.’
    2. 1.2A place where a broken or discarded object lies.
      ‘they lifted the aircraft from its watery grave’
      • ‘Apparently not; the painstakingly hand-tended wooden form of my Jordan 193 now lies in a watery grave in the river at a former factory site.’
      • ‘In the Seetalsee across the border in Austria a further £500m in ingots is said to repose in a watery grave.’
      • ‘Even a minute crack on the submarine's surface can lead to a watery grave.’
      • ‘We are saving it from this rather watery grave and lifting it bodily, flying it down river on a floating crane, and putting it on to a pontoon, which will become a restoration platform.’
      • ‘Good luck - every year, 130,000 balls find a watery grave there.’

Phrases

  • dig one's own grave

    • Do something foolish which causes one's downfall.

      ‘you're digging your own grave by walking away right now’
      • ‘If I were an optimist, I would suspect that the Democrats are digging their own grave.’
      • ‘You're digging your own grave by walking away right now.’
      • ‘At the moment, she had thought it was the best thing that had ever happened to her but now she realized that at that instant she had dug her own grave.’
      • ‘Like the smoker, you dug your own grave - deal with it.’
      • ‘‘You're digging your own grave, brother,’ he warned.’
      • ‘It is a classic example of one digging one's own grave - to put it in simple language that a common man can understand.’
      • ‘In piling still more words on the problem, hasn't he dug his own grave?’
      • ‘Trying to sue the rightful winner now and not backing down is just digging her own grave.’
      • ‘Seth has no idea about arguing effectively, and therefore, he dug his own grave.’
      • ‘Instead he denounced them and tried to placate the army, thus digging his own grave.’
  • (as) silent (or quiet) as the grave

    • Extremely quiet.

      ‘the huge room was as silent as the grave’
      • ‘‘It sure is silent as the grave around here,’ Christian whispered as Eva drew open the wooden gate.’
      • ‘And apart from a soft snapping and tink of hot metal, the room was as silent as the grave.’
      • ‘We were as silent as the grave, but I knew, almost instinctively, that all eyes were upon us from the shadows.’
      • ‘I sat in the far corner of the classroom, hidden away by the shadows as silent as the grave.’
      • ‘The theater was silent as the grave and pitch black.’
      • ‘Three vans race to the scene but when we arrive it's as quiet as the grave.’
      • ‘It is quiet as the grave and there is seating for only 20.’
      • ‘All was quiet as death, silent as the grave, save for the faint murmur of my own breathing.’
      • ‘The place was as clean as an operating theatre, and as quiet as the grave.’
      • ‘We knew who they were of course, and they were aware of our arrival but they passed on towards the Pontoon and Massbrook silent as the grave.’
  • take the (or one's etc.) secret to the grave

    • Die without revealing a secret.

      ‘if there ever was a body, he took the secret to the grave’
      • ‘But Margaret took her secret to the grave, dying in 1993 after a series of strokes.’
      • ‘Only you and I know about it, and I'll take the secret to the grave.’
      • ‘They had to die to take the secret to the grave with them.’
      • ‘The barber told me the secret of Man-Mur, and I swore that I would take the secret to the grave, so I cannot reveal it to you, dear readers.’
  • turn (north american also roll over or turn over) in one's grave

    • Used to express the opinion that something would have caused anger or distress in someone who is now dead.

      ‘if my father saw the weeds he would turn in his grave’
      • ‘‘Shakespeare would definitely be insulted and Chaplin would definitely be turning in his grave,’ he says.’
      • ‘The old lady who lived there before would turn in her grave if she knew what went on in her old home.’
      • ‘Old Bob the newsagent would be turning in his grave.’
      • ‘No doubt the real Homer would be turning in his grave, that is if he ever really existed.’
      • ‘That is of course, until you reach the end of the year and realize that your English grade is so low it would make Shakespeare turn in his grave.’
      • ‘It is enough to have old school amateurs turning in their grave.’
      • ‘If my mother thought it cost the Government £1million following her accident she would be turning in her grave at the trouble she caused.’
      • ‘That churning sound you hear is Henry James turning in his grave.’
      • ‘Lord Armstrong must have been turning in his grave.’
      • ‘She'd be turning in her grave if she saw what I did with it.’

Origin

Old English græf, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch graf and German Grab.

Pronunciation:

grave

/ɡreɪv/

Main definitions of grave in English

: grave1grave2grave3grave4grave5

grave2

adjective

  • 1Giving cause for alarm; serious.

    ‘a matter of grave concern’
    • ‘Health unions have expressed grave concerns about present workers being held on inadequate pay.’
    • ‘The growing drug abuse among street children in the city gives grave cause for concern, as almost all the children use one or other type of addictive substances, he points out.’
    • ‘Our denial and our politicians' stupidity have put us all in grave danger.’
    • ‘There are, however, grave dangers here as well.’
    • ‘As we have seen, those structures can distance and muffle even the pleas of parents who are concerned about grave danger to their children.’
    • ‘He expressed grave concern at the prospect of illegal dumping taking place due to the increased charges and urged the waste collectors involved to reduce their proposed charges.’
    • ‘The people standing in the gaps between the carriages are also in grave danger.’
    • ‘But if the practice is in fact going on, a child may be in grave danger and yet will remain unprotected because of the difficulty of satisfying this test.’
    • ‘Privately a number of union leaders have expressed grave doubts about that operation.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the conviction of a registered medical practitioner for offences of violence is a matter of grave concern.’
    • ‘But everybody knows the situation is very grave and that not enough aid is arriving.’
    • ‘My point is that our civilization stands in peril of the same grave danger.’
    • ‘There is a grave danger that critical patient care like cancer treatment will lose out as money is diverted to meet this commitment.’
    • ‘Referring to the situation in the state the statement expressed grave concern over the continuing violence by the insurgents.’
    • ‘But his findings and suggestions were challenged by a number of councillors who stated that there was grave concern amongst the public over the proposal.’
    • ‘The events are designed to bring together members of the two communities in public, but meeting face-to-face in secret is out of the question without putting personal safety in grave danger.’
    • ‘Opposition politicians and veterans campaigners voiced grave concerns about the British vaccination programme.’
    • ‘Besides the shooting, a series of accidents and other incidents in the armed forces have raised grave concern among the people over the suspected slackening of discipline.’
    • ‘There are grave dangers in extending such subsidies, as the absurdity at present under discussion of providing hourly salary levels for visual artists suggests.’
    • ‘The situation there is especially grave because of the endangered status of the tigers.’
    serious, important, all-important, profound, significant, momentous, weighty, of great consequence
    View synonyms
  • 2Serious or solemn in manner or appearance.

    ‘his face was grave’
    • ‘Colin dismissed the grave thoughts of his family and parked the car in the driveway.’
    • ‘I follow and offer refreshment, which is once more declined, though this time the Italian's manner is not offhand, but solicitous and somewhat grave.’
    • ‘She started walking down the small hallway towards the kitchen and her parents looked at her in a grave manner.’
    • ‘A grave look appeared on the twelve year old's face which she shook away.’
    • ‘The grave looks on her parents' faces sobered her.’
    • ‘As one grave observation led to another, though, a disturbing disconnect emerged.’
    • ‘And their teacher: he's a tall, very urbane and rather natty man, with a grave manner.’
    • ‘‘You need to tell me more about yourself, mister,’ I said, feigning grave seriousness.’
    • ‘The grave expression it held seem to not fit the youthful appear of his posture.’
    • ‘Her screeching noises reduced to solemn and grave whines, and eventually to nothing.’
    • ‘Of course, that did not happen, even though the state subsequently acknowledged that a grave injustice had been done in that case.’
    • ‘So they hem and haw and appear ever so grave and thoughtful.’
    • ‘He collapsed in a manner that, were it not for the grave circumstances, would have been called by many, hilarious.’
    • ‘Riley turned solemn with a grave look in her eyes.’
    • ‘In grave tones and with a sombre face, the receptionist said ‘You've been upgraded to a suite.’’
    • ‘All wore grave expressions, and the children appeared close to tears.’
    • ‘‘You know,’ his grave voice broke into my thoughts, ‘You aren't very good at spying.’’
    • ‘His brown eyes held a grave seriousness to them.’
    • ‘But the grave tone of his voice and the seriousness in those pitch black eyes told him this was no joke.’
    • ‘‘I was just trying to shake up this grave seriousness,’ he laughs.’
    solemn, earnest, serious, sombre, sober, severe
    View synonyms

noun

  • another term for grave accent
    • ‘This produces the "e" with a grave.’
    • ‘Does a look-up table exist that matches whole range of such non-English letters with their nearest-looking English equivalents? I'm thinking o and u umlaut, c and s cedilla, o circumflex, Turkish g and undotted-i, Scandinavian o with a line through it, Spanish n, e with a grave and acute, accented a, the diphthongs.’
    • ‘However the problem I am faced with that the string literal \u00c0 is written to file rather than the character À (A with a grave) which is what the octal string relates to.’

Origin

Late 15th century (originally of a wound in the sense ‘severe, serious’): from Old French grave or Latin gravis heavy, serious.

Pronunciation:

grave

/ɡrɑːv/

Main definitions of grave in English

: grave1grave2grave3grave4grave5

grave3

verb

[WITH OBJECT]Archaic
  • 1 Engrave (an inscription or image) on a surface.

    ‘marble graved with exquisite flower, human and animal forms’
    • ‘A leading European urologist in 1863 described the collection as ‘the most perfect and complete record literally graven in stone that the world possesses of calculous experience’.’
    • ‘Thus the sea level record is documented graven in stone as well as in the FIMR database.’
    • ‘There is no reason to suppose that history is at an end, that the current structures of authority and domination are graven in stone.’
    • ‘In the middle of the lawn was a basin of whitest marble, graven with marvellous art.’
    • ‘Graven in its surface is a lightening bolt, a cloud shedding rain, the crescent moon, the all seeing eye.’
    1. 1.1literary Fix (something) indelibly in the mind.
      ‘the times are graven on my memory’
      • ‘The scene when Dink falls in love is graven on my memory forever.’
      • ‘The fearful price we had had to pay in human life and blood for the great offensives of the First World War was graven in my mind.’
      • ‘The communion of that hour will be graven on my memory while life shall last.’
      • ‘The hour of our first meeting is still graven on my memory. I met him unexpectedly.’
      • ‘Those final words of certainty are graven in my mind.’

Origin

Old English grafan ‘dig’, of Germanic origin; related to German graben, Dutch graven dig and German begraben bury, also to grave and groove.

Pronunciation:

grave

/ɡreɪv/

Main definitions of grave in English

: grave1grave2grave3grave4grave5

grave4

verb

[WITH OBJECT]historical
  • Clean (a ship's bottom) by burning off the accretions and then tarring it.

    ‘they graved the ship there and remained 26 days’
    • ‘They are graved, i.e., a surface layer of oxidation has been scratched away.’
    • ‘After a period of time in Ternate, she left and sailed southward of the Celebes where they stopped at an island and graved the ship for 26 days.’
    • ‘After a ship had entered one of the graving docks, the water would be pumped out, leaving a dry hull for barnacles to be "graved" or scraped off.’
    • ‘He asked to have his ship trimmed and graved, and was much grieved to hear that the prize had been bestowed elsewhere.’
    • ‘At the outbreak of the Second World War the port, with its large graving and floating docks, became a naval base and later an Admiralty dockyard.’

Origin

Late Middle English: perhaps from French dialect grave, variant of Old French greve shore (because originally the ship would have been run aground).

Pronunciation:

grave

/ɡreɪv/

Main definitions of grave in English

: grave1grave2grave3grave4grave5

grave5

adverb & adjective

Music
  • (as a direction) slowly; with solemnity.

    • ‘Another Grave movement follows, a particularly doleful composition constructed from long, sighing melodic arches.’
    • ‘Listen very carefully to the opening Grave movement from Sonata 2 in A Minor.’
    • ‘After a half dozen bars of a vigorous Vivace there comes a deeply felt Grave movement.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, Corelli's own concerti grossi probably inspired the very original "Quis hic?" suite, though no one other than Muffat could imagine those expressive rests in the Grave movement.’
    • ‘The Sonata No. 2 in A minor begins solemnly with the Grave movement.’

Origin

Italian, slow.

Pronunciation:

grave

/ɡrɑːˈveɪ/