Definitions

Gravamen

Gravamen

[gruh-vey-muhn]
Gravamen (from Lat. gravare, to weigh down; gravis, heavy), (plural gra·va·mens or gra·vam·i·na), a complaint or grievance, the ground of a legal action, and particularly the more serious part of a charge against an accused person. In legal terms, the essential element of a lawsuit.

In English the term is used chiefly in legal submissions and judicial opinions. The word is commonly misspelled gravaman.

The term is also used in ecclesiastical cases, being the technical designation of a memorial presented from the Lower to the Upper House of Convocation, setting forth grievances to be redressed, or calling attention to breaches in church discipline.

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