Definition: seriousness and importance of manner, causing feelings of respect and trust in others

MIEN: Definition: general appearance and manner, especially the expression on their face, which shows what they are feeling or thinking



  1. There is a certain amount of gravitas to a page that you don't get on a screen.

  2. He's an effective enough politician but somehow he lacks the statesmanlike gravitas of a world leader


  1. His aristocratic mien and expensive clothes singled him out.

  2. She saw a man now--wild, white, intense as fire, with some terrible cool kind of deadliness in his mien.

In each of these examples, "gravitas" and "mien" seem to convey a shared sense of "one's attitude, behavior, and manners they put on when in public".

  • 1
    Isn't 'gravitas' a particular example of 'mien'? Commented May 29, 2022 at 6:11
  • 2
    The answer is In the question. Mien is a general term that merely includes gravitas. It may also include other characteristics such as flippancy, disrespect, humbleness, belligerence, elation etc.
    – Anton
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 6:57

1 Answer 1


Simplifying, to make it easier to see the difference: mien is loosely equivalent to appearance (but see below), and you can think of gravitas as (more or less) impressiveness.

Note: mien is more than the appearance you would see in a photograph -- it also includes the way the person carries himself and acts.

So, gravitas is a specific type of mien. That is, mien is more general.

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