[mawr-ey, mohr-ey; maw-rey, moh-]
noun, plural mo·rays.
  1. any of numerous chiefly tropical eels of the family Muraenidae, having porelike gill openings and no pectoral fins.

Origin of moray

1615–25, Americanism; < Portuguese moréia < Latin mūraena < Greek mȳ́raina lamprey
Also called moray eel.


  1. a historic county in NE Scotland, on Moray Firth.
Formerly Elgin. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for moray

Contemporary Examples of moray

Historical Examples of moray

  • I was thinking,” said Moray gravely, “of how long it would be before it is day.

    The Ocean Cat's Paw

    George Manville Fenn

  • The return by the east coast was through the counties of Moray and Banff to Aberdeen.

    Robert Burns

    Principal Shairp.

  • Possibly the trumpet-blowing angels did call him Moray, or some better name.

    Robert Falconer

    George MacDonald

  • Give me all my honours, Robert,' said Moray, presenting his left hand.

    Robert Falconer

    George MacDonald

  • Moray, who had no heart to hunt for his mother, left the next day by the steamer.

    Robert Falconer

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for moray


noun plural -rays
  1. any voracious marine coastal eel of the family Muraenidae, esp Muraena helena, marked with brilliant patterns and colours

Word Origin for moray

C17: from Portuguese moréia, from Latin mūrēna, from Greek muraina


  1. a council area and historical county of NE Scotland: part of Grampian region from 1975 to 1996: mainly hilly, with the Cairngorm mountains in the S. Administrative centre: Elgin. Pop: 87 460 (2003 est). Area: 2238 sq km (874 sq miles)Former name: Elgin




  1. 1st Earl of, title of James Stuart. ?1531–70, regent of Scotland (1567–70) following the abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots, his half-sister. He defeated Mary and Bothwell at Langside (1568); assassinated by a follower of Mary
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for moray

1620s, from Portuguese moreia, from Latin muraena "sea eel, lamprey," from Greek smyraina, from smyros "sea eel."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper