gist /'jist/ n [Anglo-French, in the phrase laccion gist the action lies or is based (on), from gisir to lie (of process), from Old French gesir to lie, ultimately from Latin jacere]: the ground or foundation of a legal action without which it would not be sustainable
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster. 1996.
(ground for a suit) noun
alleged reason, base, basis, basis of argument, basis of litigation, cardinal point, cause, cause of action, essential ground, essential matter, essential part, focal point of the complaint, foundation of a suit, gravamen, gravamen of a charge, gravamen of the complaint, great point, ground, important point, keystone, main charge, main point, object of the action, outstanding feature, pith of a matter, point, principal part, principal point, reason, reason for which suit is commenced, salient point, substance, substantial part of a complaint, sum and substance, ultimate cause
associated concepts: gist of a cause of action, gist of an offense, gist of the complaint
backbone, basis, broad meaning, connotation, core, drift, essence, essential meaning, essential part, fundamentals, general meaning, idea conveyed, implication, import, index, intrinsic nature, marrow, matter, meaning, pith, primary meaning, purport, quiddity, quintessence, real content, reality, root, sense, spirit, substantial meaning, sum and substance, tenor, true meaning, vital principle
center (essence), connotation, content (meaning), contents, context, essence, gravamen, import, main point, significance, signification, spirit, subject (topic), substance (essential nature), sum (tally), tenor
Burton's Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006