(1 syl.). Place de Grève. The Tyburn of ancient Paris. The present Hôtel de Ville occupies part of the site. The word grève means the strand of a river or the shore of the sea, and is so, called from gravier (gravel or sand). The Place de Grève was on the bank of the Seine.
Who has e'er been to Paris must needs know the Grève, The fatal retreat of th' unfortunate brave, Where honour and justice most oddly contribute To ease Hero's pains by a halter or gibbet.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894