[ grav-uh l ]
/ ˈgræv əl /


small stones and pebbles, or a mixture of these with sand.
  1. multiple small calculi formed in the kidneys.
  2. the disease characterized by such concretions.

verb (used with object), grav·eled, grav·el·ing or (especially British) grav·elled, grav·el·ling.


harsh and grating: a gravel voice.

Origin of gravel

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French gravele, diminutive of grave sandy shore, perhaps < Celtic; cf. grave4, growan

Related forms

Can be confused

gavel gravel grovel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gravel

British Dictionary definitions for gravel


/ (ˈɡrævəl) /


an unconsolidated mixture of rock fragments that is coarser than sand
geology a mixture of rock fragments with diameters in the range 4–76 mm
pathol small rough calculi in the kidneys or bladder

verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled (tr)

to cover with gravel
to confound or confuse
US informal to annoy or disturb

Derived Forms

gravelish, adjective

Word Origin for gravel

C13: from Old French gravele, diminutive of grave gravel, perhaps of Celtic origin
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

Medicine definitions for gravel


[ grăvəl ]


Sandlike concretions of uric acid, calcium oxalate, and mineral salts formed in the passages of the biliary and urinary tracts.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.