verb (1)
\ ˈbrā How to pronounce bray (audio) \
brayed; braying; brays

Definition of bray

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to utter the characteristic loud harsh cry of a donkey a braying donkey also : to utter a sound like a donkey's bray with laughter

transitive verb

: to utter or play loudly or harshly "I'm the best!" he brayed.


verb (2)
brayed; braying; brays

Definition of bray (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to crush or grind fine bray seeds in a mortar
2 : to spread thin bray printing ink


geographical name
\ ˈbrā How to pronounce Bray (audio) \

Definition of Bray (Entry 3 of 3)

town and port on the Irish Sea in eastern Ireland population 25,101

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Other Words from bray

Verb (1)

bray noun

Examples of bray in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The most obvious failure of our Constitution is President Trump himself, of course, who is exactly the sort of corrupt, braying champion of the mob that our Founding Fathers devoted so much time and effort to keeping out of the presidency. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "The Crisis of Our Constitution," 10 Jan. 2019 Old-schoolers would bray about Grier letting down his school, yadda, yadda, yadda. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Expand the Playoff, College Football," 16 Dec. 2018 Is there anything worse, anything less conducive to the enjoyment and understanding of the beautiful game, than a round table of former professionals braying platitudes at one another beneath the unforgiving lights of a TV studio? Giles Harvey, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: ‘The Totally Football Show With James Richardson’," 3 July 2018 Online, an army of braying hucksters — digital-branding specialists, celebrities in the middle of breakdowns, the president — saw away at my capacity for complex thought. Daniel Kolitz, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: Timehop," 26 June 2018 There’s a scene in Fallen Kingdom that will stay with me for a little while: a lone brontosaurus, standing on a shore nearly engulfed in ash and flame, stretching its long neck up to the sky and braying out a mournful plaint. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," 5 June 2018 Ichiro proved those people to be braying morons, spraying 242 hits en route to Rookie of the Year honors and his fourth MVP award as a professional. Jay Willis, GQ, "The press release is layered in so much stilted, sanitized corporatespeak," 4 May 2018 Other women were pulled onto the laps of braying guests and had men’s hands reaching under their skirts. Washington Post, "Britain’s Theresa May ‘appalled’ by lewd men-only charity event," 25 Jan. 2018 By the time Oasis came braying out of Manchester, the sibling rock band feud was a trope that had spanned decades: from the brothers Davies in the Kinks to the brothers Robinson in the Black Crowes. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Loving dinosaurs and Noel Gallagher," 28 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bray.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bray

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bray

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French braire to cry, bellow, roar, from Vulgar Latin *bragere, of Celtic origin; akin to Old Irish braigid he breaks wind

Verb (2)

Middle English, from Anglo-French braier, breier, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German brehhan to break — more at break

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Time Traveler for bray

The first known use of bray was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for bray


\ ˈbrā How to pronounce bray (audio) \
brayed; braying

Kids Definition of bray

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make the loud harsh cry of a donkey



Kids Definition of bray (Entry 2 of 2)

: the loud harsh cry of a donkey

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More from Merriam-Webster on bray

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bray

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bray

Spanish Central: Translation of bray

Nglish: Translation of bray for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about bray

Comments on bray

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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