- 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 greys
Contemporary Examples of greys
The winter can be so drab—all greys, blacks, and neutral tones.The Daily Beast’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Carrie Bradshaw in Your Life
November 29, 2014
Jagged walls of rock, a palette of blacks and greys, loom over us.Want to Write a Book? Go to Iceland
May 26, 2014
Historical Examples of greys
The Greys had now only to provide for their personal safety.The Reign of Mary Tudor
W. Llewelyn Williams.
A beautiful and soft under tone will thus be given to receive the greys.Field's Chromatography
Won't there be a big splash though when the Maises and Greys all tumble in.Pearl and Periwinkle
Nowhere was to be seen the color green, only dull browns and greys.Longevity
The Greys are so proud of her beauty, they have no eyes or ears but for her.Deerbrook
- the Greys another name for (the) Royal Scots Greys
- 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)
- Charles, 2nd Earl Grey. 1764–1845, British statesman. As Whig prime minister (1830–34), he carried the Reform Bill of 1832 and the bill for the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire (1833)
- Sir Edward, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon. 1862–1933, British statesman; foreign secretary (1905–16)
- Sir George. 1812–98, British statesman and colonial administrator; prime minister of New Zealand (1877–79)
- Lady Jane. 1537–54, queen of England (July 9–19, 1553); great-granddaughter of Henry VII. Her father-in-law, the Duke of Northumberland, persuaded Edward VI to alter the succession in her favour, but after ten days as queen she was imprisoned and later executed
- Zane. 1875–1939, US author of Westerns, including Riders of the Purple Sage (1912)
now esp US gray
- of a neutral tone, intermediate between black and white, that has no hue and reflects and transmits only a little light
- greyish in colour or having parts or marks that are greyish
- dismal or dark, esp from lack of light; gloomy
- neutral or dull, esp in character or opinion
- having grey hair
- of or relating to people of middle age or abovegrey power
- ancient; venerable
- (of textiles) natural, unbleached, undyed, and untreated
- any of a group of grey tones
- grey cloth or clothingdressed in grey
- an animal, esp a horse, that is grey or whitish
- to become or make grey
Word Origin for grey
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