- of a color between white and black; having a neutral hue.
- dark, dismal, or gloomy: gray skies.
- dull, dreary, or monotonous.
- having gray hair; gray-headed.
- pertaining to old age; mature.
- Informal. pertaining to, involving, or composed of older persons: gray households.
- old or ancient.
- indeterminate and intermediate in character: The tax audit concentrated on deductions in the gray area between purely personal and purely business expenses.
- any achromatic color; any color with zero chroma, intermediate between white and black.
- something of this color.
- gray material or clothing: to dress in gray.
- an unbleached and undyed condition.
- (often initial capital letter) a member of the Confederate army in the American Civil War or the army itself.Compare blue(def 5).
- a horse of a gray color.
- a horse that appears white but is not an albino.
- to make or become gray.
Origin of gray1
- the standard unit of absorbed dose of radiation (such as x-rays) in the International System of Units(SI), equal to the amount of ionizing radiation absorbed when the energy imparted to matter is 1 J/kg (one joule per kilogram). Abbreviation: Gy
Origin of gray2
- A·sa [ey-suh] /ˈeɪ sə/, 1810–88, U.S. botanist.
- Robert,1755–1806, U.S. explorer and sea captain: discovered the Columbia River.
- Thomas,1716–71, English poet.
Related Words for graydusty, drab, grey, silvery, stone, lead, slate, neutral, pearly, powder, iron, dappled, shaded, clouded, ash, heather, silvered, Dove, oyster, ashen
Examples from the Web for gray
Contemporary Examples of gray
I lie and nod my head yes while wiping the tears on my gray fleece sleeve.You’re Never ‘Cured’ of an Eating Disorder
December 20, 2014
Then the gift card is shopped online in a gray market to collect cold currency.The Insane $11 Billion Scam at Retailers’ Return Desks
December 19, 2014
Caller: “He has a gray, gray coat with black sleeves and gray pants on.”The Cleveland Cops Who Fired 137 Shots and Cried Victim
December 2, 2014
Her neon blue hair is teased high with a gray stripe emerging from the front.Whip It: Secrets of a Dominatrix
November 25, 2014
On Sept. 30, 2012, FWS delisted the gray wolf and transferred wildlife management to the states.What It Takes to Kill a Grizzly Bear
November 23, 2014
Historical Examples of gray
It faded soon into a gray fog, with puffs of wind from the southwest again.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Gray Peter had been fresher than Sally at the end of the run of the day before.Way of the Lawless
Then I come on a slab of gray stone upstanding about fifteen feet.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
"You are in splendid condition, Elfreda," praised Mrs. Gray.
Thank goodness and Mrs. Gray, there are no carpets to be laid.
- a variant spelling (now esp US) of grey
- the derived SI unit of absorbed ionizing radiation dose or kerma equivalent to an absorption per unit mass of one joule per kilogram of irradiated material. 1 gray is equivalent to 100 radsSymbol: Gy
Word Origin for gray
- Thomas. 1716–71, English poet, best known for his Elegy written in a Country Churchyard (1751)
Old English græg (Mercian grei), from Proto-Germanic *grisja- "gray" (cf. Old Norse grar, Old Frisian gre, Middle Dutch gra, Dutch graw, Old High German grao, German grau), with no certain cognates outside Germanic. French gris, Spanish gris, Italian grigio, Medieval Latin griseus are Germanic loan-words.
The distinction between British grey and U.S. gray developed 20c. The noun is c.1200, from the adjective. Gray as figurative for "Southern troops in the U.S. Civil War" is first recorded 1863, in reference to their uniform color. Expression the gray mare is the better horse in reference to households ruled by wives is recorded from 1540s. The verb is 1610s (with an isolated instance from late 14c.). Related: Grayed; graying.
- A unit for a specific absorbed dose of radiation equal to 100 rads.
- British anatomist whose work Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical (1858), known as Gray's Anatomy, remains a standard text.
- The SI derived unit used to measure the energy absorbed by a substance per unit weight of the substance when exposed to radiation. One gray is equal to one joule per kilogram, or 100 rads. The gray is named after British physicist Louis Harold Gray (1905-1965).
In addition to the idioms beginning with gray
- gray area
- gray matter
- get gray hair from