Grieve vs greave

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Grieve and greave are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of grieve and greave, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

To grieve means to mourn, to experience sorrow or distress. Most often, grieve is used to mean to mourn the death of someone, but it may also be used to mean to feel acute distress over a situation or a loss. Grieve is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are grieves, grieved, grieving. The word grieve is derived from the Latin word gravare which means to burden or make heavy.

A greave is a piece of armor that fits over the shin, in order to protect it in jousting or in battle. The word greave is derived from the Old French word greve, which means shin or armor that protects the shin. The plural form of greave is greaves.


“He now has the weight lifted from his shoulders, can grieve and live out the remaining portion of his years without the ignominy of having a criminal conviction against his name.” (The Advertiser)

The Jackson family is thanking the public for its support as they grieve the death of patriarch Joe Jackson. (The East Oregonian)

But although the behaviour was common, the way these animals grieve is varied.  (The Daily Mail)

That happened as Deblois unveiled Hiccup’s new look in “The Hidden World”: a sleek black dragon-scale armor suit, set off by red spaulders, and huge knee down greaves, set off by his metal-frame left leg. (Variety Magazine)