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bray1

[brey] /breɪ/
noun
1.
the loud, harsh cry of a donkey.
2.
any similar loud, harsh sound.
verb (used without object)
3.
to utter a loud and harsh cry, as a donkey.
4.
to make a loud, harsh, disagreeable sound.
verb (used with object)
5.
to utter with a loud, harsh sound, like a donkey.
Origin of bray1
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English brayen < Old French braire to cry out (cognate with Medieval Latin bragīre to neigh) < Celtic; compare Old Irish braigid (he) breaks wind
Can be confused
braid, brayed.

bray2

[brey] /breɪ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to pound or crush fine, as in a mortar.
2.
Printing. to thin (ink) on a slate before placing on the ink plate of a press.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English brayen < Anglo-French bra(i)er, Old French broier < Germanic; see break
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for braying
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Only a few moments passed before the house was in a sputtering uproar—voices, hurrying feet, Jonas braying something or other.

    Wilderness of Spring Edgar Pangborn
  • Then, fearing he had told the secret, he ran off, quacking and braying derisively.

    Jack and Jill Louisa May Alcott
  • The five ships left Lisbon on April 5, 1579, the solemnity being marked by the firing of ordnance and the braying of trumpets.

  • Forrest took charge of the horn, and kept it braying continuously.

    The Motor Pirate George Sidney Paternoster
  • The burros were braying, the calves were bawling, the colts were whistling.

  • Right at him came the donkey, braying as though in glee at the trick he had played.

    Frank Roscoe's Secret Allen Chapman
  • The braying of the ass, the thunder of the cloud, is an oracle; the ass that brays is a judge and a prophet.

British Dictionary definitions for braying

bray1

/breɪ/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (of a donkey) to utter its characteristic loud harsh sound; heehaw
2.
(intransitive) to make a similar sound, as in laughing: he brayed at the joke
3.
(transitive) to utter with a loud harsh sound
noun
4.
the loud harsh sound uttered by a donkey
5.
a similar loud cry or uproar: a bray of protest
Derived Forms
brayer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French braire, probably of Celtic origin

bray2

/breɪ/
verb
1.
(transitive) to distribute (ink) over printing type or plates
2.
(transitive) to pound into a powder, as in a mortar
3.
(Northern English, dialect) to hit or beat (someone or something) hard; bang
Derived Forms
brayer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French breier of Germanic origin; see break
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for braying

bray

v.

c.1300, from Old French braire "to cry," from Gallo-Romance *bragire "to cry out," perhaps from a Celtic source (cf. Gaelic braigh "to shriek, crackle"), probably imitative. Related: Brayed; braying.

n.

c.1300, from bray (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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