a low, strong cart without fixed sides, for carrying heavy loads.
a sledge or sled.
any vehicle, as a truck, used to haul goods, especially one used to carry heavy loads.

verb (used with object)

to convey on a dray.

verb (used without object)

to drive or operate a dray, especially as an occupation.
to convey goods by dray, especially locally or for short distances.


Nearby words

  1. drawplate,
  2. drawshave,
  3. drawsheet,
  4. drawstring,
  5. drawtube,
  6. dray horse,
  7. drayage,
  8. drayhorse,
  9. draying,
  10. drayman

Origin of dray

1325–75; Middle English draye sledge; compare Old English draeg- (in drægnet dragnet), akin to dragan to draw

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dray

British Dictionary definitions for dray




  1. a low cart without fixed sides, used for carrying heavy loads
  2. (in combination)a drayman
any other vehicle or sledge used to carry a heavy load

Word Origin for dray

Old English dræge dragnet; related to Old Norse draga load of timber carried on horseback and trailing on the ground; see draw


a variant spelling of drey
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 dray



mid-14c., Middle English noun derivative of Old English dragan "to draw," originally meaning a cart without wheels that has to be "dragged" (cf. Old Norse draga "timber dragged behind a horse"); see drag (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper