Origin: AS. Grafan to dig, grave, engrave; akin to OFries. Greva, D. Graven, G. Graben, OHG. & Goth. Graban, Dan. Grabe, Sw. Grafva, Icel. Grafa, but prob. Not to Gr. Grafein to write, E. Graphic. Cf. Grave, Grove.
2. Of importance; momentous; weighty; influential; sedate; serious; said of character, relations, etc.; as, grave deportment, character, influence, etc. "Most potent, grave, and reverend seigniors." (Shak) "A grave and prudent law, full of moral equity." (Milton)
Grave, Sober, Serious, Solemn. Sober supposes the absence of all exhilaration of spirits, and is opposed to gay or flighty; as, sober thought. Serious implies considerateness or reflection, and is opposed to jocose or sportive; as, serious and important concerns. Grave denotes a state of mind, appearance, etc, which results from the pressure of weighty interests, and is opposed to hilarity of feeling or vivacity of manner; as, a qrave remark; qrave attire. Solemn is applied to a case in which gravity is carried to its highest point; as, a solemn admonition; a solemn promise.
Origin: F, fr. L. Gravis heavy; cf. It. & Sp. Grave heavy, grave. See Grief.
(01 Mar 1998)
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