Origin of draying

First recorded in 1855–60; dray + -ing1


  1. a low, strong cart without fixed sides, for carrying heavy loads.
  2. a sledge or sled.
  3. any vehicle, as a truck, used to haul goods, especially one used to carry heavy loads.
verb (used with object)
  1. to convey on a dray.
verb (used without object)
  1. to drive or operate a dray, especially as an occupation.
  2. to convey goods by dray, especially locally or for short distances.

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. 2018

Examples from the Web for draying

Historical Examples of draying

  • Tiring of the sea he put his earnings in a draying enterprise.

    Port O' Gold

    Louis John Stellman

  • Building up the burned district, draying around the bay in every conceivable branch.

British Dictionary definitions for draying


    1. a low cart without fixed sides, used for carrying heavy loads
    2. (in combination)a drayman
  1. 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


  1. 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 draying



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