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View synonyms for gray

gray

1

[ grey ]

adjective

, gray·er, gray·est.
  1. of a color between white and black; having a neutral hue.
  2. dark, dismal, or gloomy:

    gray skies.

  3. dull, dreary, or monotonous.
  4. having gray hair; gray-headed.
  5. pertaining to old age; mature.
  6. Informal. pertaining to, involving, or composed of older persons:

    gray households.

  7. old or ancient.
  8. indeterminate and intermediate in character:

    The tax audit concentrated on deductions in the gray area between purely personal and purely business expenses.



noun

  1. any achromatic color; any color with zero chroma, intermediate between white and black.
  2. something of this color.
  3. gray material or clothing:

    to dress in gray.

  4. an unbleached and undyed condition.
  5. (often initial capital letter) a member of the Confederate army in the American Civil War or the army itself. Compare blue ( def 5 ).
  6. a horse of a gray color.
  7. a horse that appears white but is not an albino.

verb (used with or without object)

  1. to make or become gray.

gray

2

[ grey ]

noun

, Physics.
  1. 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). : Gy

Gray

3

[ grey ]

noun

  1. A·sa [ey, -s, uh], 1810–88, U.S. botanist.
  2. Robert, 1755–1806, U.S. explorer and sea captain: discovered the Columbia River.
  3. Thomas, 1716–71, English poet.

Gray

1

/ ɡreɪ /

noun

  1. GrayThomas17161771MEnglishWRITING: poet Thomas. 1716–71, English poet, best known for his Elegy written in a Country Churchyard (1751)


gray

2

/ ɡreɪ /

adjective

  1. a variant spelling (now esp US) of grey

gray

3

/ ɡreɪ /

noun

  1. 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 rads Gy

gray

/ grā /

  1. 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).


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Derived Forms

  • ˈgrayness, noun
  • ˈgrayly, adverb
  • ˈgrayish, adjective
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Other Words From

  • grayly especially British, greyly adverb
  • grayness especially British, greyness noun
  • un·grayed especially British, un·greyed adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of gray1

First recorded before 900; Middle English grei, grai, Old English grǣg, grēg; cognate with German grau, Old Norse grār

Origin of gray2

First recorded in 1975; named in honor of Louis Harold Gray (1905–65), English radiobiologist
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Word History and Origins

Origin of gray1

C20: named after Louis Harold Gray (1905–65), English physicist
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Idioms and Phrases

  • get gray hair from
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Example Sentences

Initially its green hydrogen will replace some gray hydrogen—as natural-gas-­derived hydrogen is sometimes called—used at the refinery.

When I visited Frank Keutsch in the fall of 2019, he walked me down to the lab, where the tube, wrapped in gray insulation, ran the length of a bench in the back corner.

The other story is that you inherited a great, if, you know, slightly graying company, and tried to remake it in your image and wound up destroying it with a series of bad acquisitions and bad decisions.

They’ll still show up in your apps for 30 days after your subscription expires—grayed out and inaccessible—just in case you change your mind and want to sign back up again.

At the New York City coronavirus testing site, his friend started chatting with a man with beautiful blue-gray eyes.

I lie and nod my head yes while wiping the tears on my gray fleece sleeve.

Then the gift card is shopped online in a gray market to collect cold currency.

“He was an absolutely gray and insignificant personality,” says Kurnosova.

Caller: “He has a gray, gray coat with black sleeves and gray pants on.”

Her neon blue hair is teased high with a gray stripe emerging from the front.

Very trim and strong, and confident he looked, with the glow of youth in his cheeks, and the spark of happiness in his gray eyes.

They nodded at each other when they met, and the gray man showed him a little ship with rigging that took up and down.

Some hidden magnetism burst from him like an aura, and his cold pasty face and light gray eyes flamed into positive beauty.

They climbed another dune, and came upon the great gray sea at low tide.

The gray eyes, once flashing with the light of kindly humor, now softened with sympathy, now glowed with pity.

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Gray Vs. Grey

What’s the difference between gray and grey?

Gray and grey are simply different spellings of the same word, which refers to the color halfway between black and white (among other more figurative meanings).

In popular use, the two spellings are used interchangeably, though one spelling is often preferred in many places. The spelling gray is much more common in American English, while grey is more common in British English.

Remember: spell gray with an a in America, and spell grey with an e in England (among other places).

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between gray and grey.

Quiz yourself on gray vs. grey!

True or False? 

The words gray and grey are always used to refer to slightly different colors.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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