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[trey] /treɪ/
a flat, shallow container or receptacle made of wood, metal, etc., usually with slightly raised edges, used for carrying, holding, or displaying articles of food, glass, china, etc.
a removable receptacle of this shape in a cabinet, box, trunk, or the like, sometimes forming a drawer.
a tray and its contents:
to order a breakfast tray from room service.
Origin of tray1
before 1050; Middle English; Old English trēg, trīg; cognate with Old Swedish trö corn measure; akin to tree


[trey] /treɪ/
noun, Australian Slang.
a coin worth threepence.
Also called tray bit.
1895-1900; compare earlier argot trey, tray three, a set of three, probably ultimately < Italian tre (< Latin trēs three); cf. trey Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tray
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Every bowl, tray, warming-pan, and piggin has gone to the mines.

  • Then she sat down at the table near the door, with the tray in front of her.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • There is a letter in the tray—just a name, no address on it.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Lizzie, carrying a tray of dishes, came into the hall as he opened the door.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • He went out and Miss Woodville came soon with food on a tray.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
British Dictionary definitions for tray


a thin flat board or plate of metal, plastic, etc, usually with a raised edge, on which things can be carried
a shallow receptacle for papers, etc, sometimes forming a drawer in a cabinet or box
Word Origin
Old English trieg; related to Old Swedish trö corn measure, Old Norse treyja carrier, Greek driti tub, German Trogtrough
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 tray

Old English treg, trig "flat board with a low rim," from Proto-Germanic *traujan (cf. Old Swedish tro, a corn measure). Related to Old English treow "wood, tree" (see tree (n.)) and the primary sense may have been "wooden vessel."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tray



A $3 packet of narcotics (1960s+ Narcotics)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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