noun \ˈrā\

Definition of RAY

:  any of an order (Rajiformes) of usually marine cartilaginous fishes (as stingrays and skates) having the body flattened dorsoventrally, the eyes on the upper surface, and enlarged pectoral fins fused with the head

Origin of RAY

Middle English raye, from Anglo-French raie, from Latin raia
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Fishes Terms

char, chum, ichthyology, smelt, tetra, turbot



Definition of RAY

a :  any of the lines of light that appear to radiate from a bright object
b :  a beam of radiant energy (as light) of small cross section
c (1) :  a stream of material particles traveling in the same line (as in radioactive phenomena)
(2) :  a single particle of such a stream
a :  light cast by rays :  radiance
b :  a moral or intellectual light
:  a thin line suggesting a ray: as
a :  any of a group of lines diverging from a common center
b :  half line
a :  one of the bony rods that extend and support the membrane in the fin of a fish
b :  one of the radiating divisions of the body of a radiate animal (as a starfish)
a :  a branch or flower stalk of an umbel
b (1) :  medullary ray
(2) :  vascular ray
c :  ray flower 1
:  particle, trace <a ray of hope>
rayed \ˈrād\ adjective

Origin of RAY

Middle English, from Anglo-French rai, from Latin radius rod, ray
First Known Use: 14th century



Definition of RAY

intransitive verb
a :  to shine in or as if in rays
b :  to issue as rays
:  to extend like the radii of a circle :  radiate
transitive verb
:  to emit in rays
:  to furnish or mark with rays

Examples of RAY

  1. <klieg lights were raying against the nighttime sky at the Hollywood premiere>
  2. <laugh wrinkles rayed out from the corners of the old man's eyes>

First Known Use of RAY



biographical name \ˈrā\

Definition of RAY

John 1627–1705 Eng. naturalist


biographical name

Definition of RAY

Nicholas 1911–1979 born Raymond Nicholas Kienzle Am. film director


biographical name \ˈrī, ˈrā\

Definition of RAY

Satyajit 1921–1992 Indian film director, writer, & producer


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Cow-nosed ray (Rhinoptera bonasus), a stingray—Painting by Richard Ellis

Any of 300–350 mostly marine species of cartilaginous fish (order Batoidei) found worldwide and classified as electric rays, sawfishes, skates, and stingrays. Many species are slow-moving bottom-dwellers. The gill openings and mouth are on the underside of the flattened body. Winglike pectoral fins extend along the sides of the head. All but electric rays have a long, slender tail, often with saw-edged, venomous spines, and rough, often spiny, skin. See also manta ray.


Next Word in the Dictionary: raya
Previous Word in the Dictionary: rax
All Words Near: ray

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up ray? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More