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 Brees and everyone else who’s brayed about Kaepernick disrespecting the anthem or the flag fails to realize that those are symbols for the ideals and rights enshrined in our Constitution. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: As protests rage over racial inequality, Drew Brees' tone-deaf comments show Saints QB is willfully ignorant," 3 June 2020 When Emily picked up dinner recently at a local restaurant, a couple of braying young customers laughed at her mask. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "Coronavirus pandemic has provided a quiet pause for live sports — and it isn’t all that bad," 23 May 2020 All hail sound designer Ben Burtt: The tittering probe droid, the braying AT-AT laserspray. Darren Franich,, "Star Wars rewatch: The Empire Strikes Back is the special effects movie that hates special effects," 30 Oct. 2019 Expect more braying from the brash second-year signal-caller, the NFL poster child for inflated self-worth., "They rank No. 1 in total defense (238.4 yards per game), passing defense (160.4 yards per game), sacks (24), first downs allowed per game (13.2), yards allowed per play (4.07), third-down percentage (12.7 percent), and crushed spirits.," 9 Oct. 2019 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

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bray

Cite this Entry

“Bray.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bray

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

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