toggle menu
1000+ books
Go to Book

used in The Scarlet Letter

13 uses
(click/touch triangles for details)
serious and/or solemn
The exact meaning of this sense of grave can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "This is a grave problem," or "a situation of the utmost gravity." — important, dangerous, or causing worry
  • "She was in a grave mood upon returning from the funeral." — sad or solemn
  • "She looked me in the eye and gravely promised." — in a sincere and serious manner
  • Into this festal season of the year—as it already was, and continued to be during the greater part of two centuries—the Puritans compressed whatever mirth and public joy they deemed allowable to human infirmity; thereby so far dispelling the customary cloud, that, for the space of a single holiday, they appeared scarcely more grave than most other communities at a period of general affliction.
    Chapter 21 — The New England Holiday (43% in)
grave = serious and solemn

(editor's note:  Festal season is a season of feasts where there are large meals and celebration.)
  • I seem to have a stronger claim to a residence here on account of this grave, bearded, sable-cloaked, and steeple-crowned progenitor—who came so early, with his Bible and his sword, and trode the unworn street with such a stately port, and made so large a figure, as a man of war and peace—a stronger claim than for myself, whose name is seldom heard and my face hardly known.
    Introductory (15% in)
  • grave = serious and solemn
  • Accordingly, the crowd was sombre and grave.
    Chapter 2 — The Market Place (77% in)
  • grave = serious and solemn
  • Reminiscences, the most trifling and immaterial, passages of infancy and school-days, sports, childish quarrels, and the little domestic traits of her maiden years, came swarming back upon her, intermingled with recollections of whatever was gravest in her subsequent life; one picture precisely as vivid as another; as if all were of similar importance, or all alike a play.
    Chapter 2 — The Market Place (86% in)
  • gravest = most serious
  • "A wise sentence," remarked the stranger, gravely, bowing his head.
    Chapter 3 — The Recognition (32% in)
  • gravely = in a serious and solemn manner
  • As the two wayfarers came within the precincts of the town, the children of the Puritans looked up from their play,—or what passed for play with those sombre little urchins—and spoke gravely one to another.
    Chapter 7 — The Governor's Hall (33% in)
  • gravely = in a serious and solemn manner
  • The brilliancy might have be fitted Aladdin's palace rather than the mansion of a grave old Puritan ruler.
    Chapter 7 — The Governor's Hall (46% in)
  • grave = serious and solemn
  • "It is as well to have made this step," said Roger Chillingworth to himself, looking after the minister, with a grave smile.
    Chapter 10 — The Leech and his Patient (82% in)
  • grave = serious
  • "Thank you, my good friend," said the minister, gravely, but startled at heart; for so confused was his remembrance, that he had almost brought himself to look at the events of the past night as visionary.
    Chapter 12 — The Minister's Vigil (97% in)
  • gravely = in a serious and solemn manner
  • "I profess, madam," answered the clergyman, with a grave obeisance, such as the lady's rank demanded, and his own good breeding made imperative—"I profess, on my conscience and character, that I am utterly bewildered as touching the purport of your words!"
    Chapter 20 — The Minister in a Maze (66% in)
  • grave = serious and solemn
  • All this time Roger Chillingworth was looking at the minister with the grave and intent regard of a physician towards his patient.
    Chapter 20 — The Minister in a Maze (86% in)
  • grave = serious
  • A party of Indians—in their savage finery of curiously embroidered deerskin robes, wampum-belts, red and yellow ochre, and feathers, and armed with the bow and arrow and stone-headed spear—stood apart with countenances of inflexible gravity, beyond what even the Puritan aspect could attain.
    Chapter 21 — The New England Holiday (69% in)
  • gravity = solemnity or seriousness
  • In that old day the English settler on these rude shores—having left king, nobles, and all degrees of awful rank behind, while still the faculty and necessity of reverence was strong in him—bestowed it on the white hair and venerable brow of age—on long-tried integrity—on solid wisdom and sad-coloured experience—on endowments of that grave and weighty order which gave the idea of permanence, and comes under the general definition of respectability.
    Chapter 22 — The Procession (16% in)
grave = serious and solemn
There are no more uses of "grave" in The Scarlet Letter.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®