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The basis or essence of a grievance; the issue upon which a particular controversy turns.
The gravamen of a criminal charge or complaint is the material part of the charge.
In English ecclesiastical law, the term gravamen referred to a grievance of which the clergy complained before the bishops in convocation.
n. the basic gist of every claim (cause of action) or charge in a complaint, particularly the failure to perform. Example: in an accident case, the gravamen may be the negligence of the defendant, and in a contract case, it may be the breach of the defendant. (See: complaint, cause of action, charge)
gravamennoun burden of a charge, cardinal point, center, central point, content, core, cornerstone, crux, essence, essence of a grievance, essential matter, essential part, essential point, focal point, gist, gist of a charge, key, keystone, main point, material part, material point, nucleus, pith, pivotal point, principal part, root, salient point, sine qua non, spirit, substance, substantial cause, substantial part of a complaint, sum and substance, thrust
Associated concepts: gravamen of a complaint
See also: center, content, cornerstone, essence, gist, impugnation, main point, meaning
gravamenthat part of an accusation weighing most heavily against an accused, the substance or material grounds of a complaint.
GRAVAMEN. The grievance complained of; the substantial cause, of the action. See Greenl. Ev. Sec. 66.