• synonyms


[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.
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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.
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Formerly Elgin.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for morays

Historical Examples of morays

  • A' the Morays are gleg, and yon marquis has an ee like a hawk.'

    Robert Falconer

    George MacDonald

  • Morays verbal report is his only source, and Morays was hearsay gossip.

  • But what was the political or personal reason for Morays cruelty?

  • De Silva inferred from Morays talk, that he believed Bothwell to be guilty.

  • The morays wouldn't attack unless disturbed, and there was no reason for disturbing them.

    The Wailing Octopus

    Harold Leland Goodwin

British Dictionary definitions for morays


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



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper