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gray1

or grey

[grey]
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adjective, gray·er, gray·est.
  1. of a color between white and black; having a neutral hue.
  2. dark, dismal, or gloomy: gray skies.
  3. dull, dreary, or monotonous.
  4. having gray hair; gray-headed.
  5. pertaining to old age; mature.
  6. Informal. pertaining to, involving, or composed of older persons: gray households.
  7. old or ancient.
  8. indeterminate and intermediate in character: The tax audit concentrated on deductions in the gray area between purely personal and purely business expenses.
noun
  1. any achromatic color; any color with zero chroma, intermediate between white and black.
  2. something of this color.
  3. gray material or clothing: to dress in gray.
  4. an unbleached and undyed condition.
  5. (often initial capital letter) a member of the Confederate army in the American Civil War or the army itself.Compare blue(def 5).
  6. a horse of a gray color.
  7. a horse that appears white but is not an albino.
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become gray.

Origin of gray1

before 900; Middle English; Old English grǣg; cognate with German grau
Related formsgray·ly, adverbgray·ness, nounun·grayed, adjective

gray2

[grey]
noun Physics.
  1. the standard unit of absorbed dose of radiation (such as x-rays) in the International System of Units(SI), equal to the amount of ionizing radiation absorbed when the energy imparted to matter is 1 J/kg (one joule per kilogram). Abbreviation: Gy
Compare rad.

Origin of gray2

First recorded in 1975; named in honor of Louis Harold Gray (1905–65), English radiobiologist

Gray

[grey]
noun
  1. A·sa [ey-suh] /ˈeɪ sə/, 1810–88, U.S. botanist.
  2. Robert,1755–1806, U.S. explorer and sea captain: discovered the Columbia River.
  3. Thomas,1716–71, English poet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for gray

gray1

adjective, noun, verb
  1. a variant spelling (now esp US) of grey
Derived Formsgrayish, adjectivegrayly, adverbgrayness, noun

gray2

noun
  1. the derived SI unit of absorbed ionizing radiation dose or kerma equivalent to an absorption per unit mass of one joule per kilogram of irradiated material. 1 gray is equivalent to 100 radsSymbol: Gy

Word Origin

C20: named after Louis Harold Gray (1905–65), English physicist

Gray

noun
  1. Thomas. 1716–71, English poet, best known for his Elegy written in a Country Churchyard (1751)
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

Word Origin and History for gray

adj.

Old English græg (Mercian grei), from Proto-Germanic *grisja- "gray" (cf. Old Norse grar, Old Frisian gre, Middle Dutch gra, Dutch graw, Old High German grao, German grau), with no certain cognates outside Germanic. French gris, Spanish gris, Italian grigio, Medieval Latin griseus are Germanic loan-words.

The distinction between British grey and U.S. gray developed 20c. The noun is c.1200, from the adjective. Gray as figurative for "Southern troops in the U.S. Civil War" is first recorded 1863, in reference to their uniform color. Expression the gray mare is the better horse in reference to households ruled by wives is recorded from 1540s. The verb is 1610s (with an isolated instance from late 14c.). Related: Grayed; graying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gray in Medicine

gray

(grā)
n.
  1. A unit for a specific absorbed dose of radiation equal to 100 rads.

Gray

  1. British anatomist whose work Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical (1858), known as Gray's Anatomy, remains a standard text.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

gray in Science

gray

[grā]
  1. The SI derived unit used to measure the energy absorbed by a substance per unit weight of the substance when exposed to radiation. One gray is equal to one joule per kilogram, or 100 rads. The gray is named after British physicist Louis Harold Gray (1905-1965).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with gray

gray

In addition to the idioms beginning with gray

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.