- 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
Examples from the Web for grayness
The grayness of the whole city—the houses, the back streets, the crumbling fences.
I was living in East Berlin for weeks in a row and experiencing the grayness of East Berlin.
She was what is called a graue Schwester; and of a truth she seemed the incarnation of grayness.A Day's Ride
Charles James Lever
And the siren sent its dismal blasts out into the grayness all about.
Anders perceived the delusion behind the grayness, and then there was nothing at all.Warm
Now and then another car passed him, specter-like amid the grayness.Glory of Youth
Even the grayness of the ash gave back no light; there was none to give.Plotting in Pirate Seas
- 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
- Thomas. 1716–71, English poet, best known for his Elegy written in a Country Churchyard (1751)
Word Origin and History for grayness
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).
Idioms and Phrases with grayness
In addition to the idioms beginning with gray
- gray area
- gray matter
- get gray hair from