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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


that part of an accusation weighing most heavily against an accused, the substance or material grounds of a complaint.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

GRAVAMEN. The grievance complained of; the substantial cause, of the action. See Greenl. Ev. Sec. 66.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
or common law should be applied to a transaction in dispute is known as the gravamen standard.
Este gravamen se ha implementado como una medida emergente para incrementar la captacion de recursos, sin embargo; los gobiernos lo han derogado y lo vuelven a implementar como una medida permanente en los siguientes ejercicios fiscales casi en todos los paises, pese a que los resultados de su aplicacion han generado polemica, inconformidades y reacciones negativas de parte de los ciudadanos y de las Instituciones del Sistema Financiero, a continuacion algunos de los paises que han implementado este impuesto:
No obstante, al hablar de la imposicion de un gravamen de 2% sobre alimentos "se torna relevante no solo el derecho a la vida sino otros derechos sociales, como la salud, de los cuales depende el goce efectivo del primero" (5).
Thus, the court concluded that because the complaint included claims that the defendants were negligent as to both the medical treatment and the ordinary care provided the decedent, the trial court erred by granting the defendants' motion for partial summary judgment on the grounds that the gravamen of the suit sounded in medical malpractice.