- 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
Related Words for grayingblind, dim, darken, confuse, disguise, mask, muddy, overshadow, cover, camouflage, shroud, belie, blur, eclipse, misrepresent, veil, cloud, shield, mute, conceal
Examples from the Web for graying
Contemporary Examples of graying
She wore an apple-green housedress and her graying beehive hairdo was unyielding against the blasts of a chugging air conditioner.What Lee Harvey Oswald’s Mother Told Me
November 14, 2013
Some men were not men at all but mere preteens; others had wrinkled faces and graying hair.Egypt’s Plague of Sex Attacks
July 5, 2013
But it looks like with his graying hair, he also has come to appreciate the benefits of a non-contact sport.Michelle Obama Stranded by Her Man as Barack Goes on a Golfing Weekend
February 16, 2013
Graying, balding, some with canes, some with hearing aids, but ever so happy to reunite and swap tales.Richard Nixon’s 100th Birthday Draws Kissinger & Others to Schmaltzy Bash
January 10, 2013
At which point he settles into his late memoir years, graying like King Lear.James Wood Gets Personal
December 21, 2012
Historical Examples of graying
Because of the moonlight she did not heed the graying of the east.Out of the Depths
Robert Ames Bennet
But the chill damp of dewfall roused him at the first graying of dawn.Bloom of Cactus
Robert Ames Bennet
Over in the east there was the first graying advance of the dawn.Jane Journeys On
Ruth Comfort Mitchell
He had a heavy, graying beard, and wore it with a patriarchal air.Anything You Can Do ...
Gordon Randall Garrett
I saw no humor in the bent forms and graying hair of the men.A Son of the Middle Border
- 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