[ grav-uhl ]
See synonyms for: gravelgraveledgravelinggravelled on

  1. small stones and pebbles, or a mixture of these with sand.

  2. Pathology.

    • multiple small calculi formed in the kidneys.

    • the disease characterized by such concretions.

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

  2. to bring to a standstill from perplexity; puzzle.

  1. Informal. to be a cause of irritation to.

  2. Obsolete. to run (a ship) aground, as on a beach.

  1. 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

Other words from gravel

  • grav·el·ish, adjective
  • un·grav·eled, adjective
  • un·grav·elled, adjective
  • well-graveled, adjective
  • well-gravelled, adjective

Words that may be confused with gravel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use gravel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for gravel


/ (ˈɡrævəl) /

  1. an unconsolidated mixture of rock fragments that is coarser than sand

  2. geology a mixture of rock fragments with diameters in the range 4–76 mm

  1. pathol small rough calculi in the kidneys or bladder

verb-els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled (tr)
  1. to cover with gravel

  2. to confound or confuse

  1. US informal to annoy or disturb

Origin of gravel

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

Derived forms of gravel

  • gravelish, adjective

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