grav·​el | \ ˈgra-vəl How to pronounce gravel (audio) \

Definition of gravel

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 obsolete : sand
2a : loose rounded fragments of rock
b : a stratum or deposit of gravel also : a surface covered with gravel a gravel road
3 : small calculi in the kidneys and urinary bladder


graveled or gravelled; graveling or gravelling\ ˈgrav-​liŋ How to pronounce gravelling (audio) , ˈgra-​və-​ \

Definition of gravel (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cover or spread with gravel
b : irritate, nettle disappointed … and graveled him a good deal— Mark Twain



Definition of gravel (Entry 3 of 3)

: gravelly sense 2 used of the human voice

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Examples of gravel in a Sentence

Verb managed to gravel his opponent in the debate by focusing on atypical examples Adjective after his bout with laryngitis, he had a terribly gravel voice
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And Cabernet Sauvignon in gravel, like in Bordeaux! Esther Mobley,, "The chaos of reopening California bars, and a racial reckoning in the wine industry: what you missed this week," 2 July 2020 But here is another thought that people who have historic wood floors in a house surrounded by gravel should consider. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Coughers, sneezers need to use tissue, or elbow," 17 June 2020 The body had been embedded facedown in the gravel as if it had been laid into a slab of wet concrete. Mark Synnott, National Geographic, "Our team climbed Everest to try to solve its greatest mystery," 16 June 2020 But here is another thought that people who have historic wood floors in a house surrounded by gravel should consider. cleveland, "Dear Annie: Please mind your sneezes," 16 June 2020 The tiny hatchlings stay in their stream gravel for a few weeks before migrating downstream to the home lake. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Warm days at Bristol Bay mean cold water and slow-arriving fish," 13 June 2020 Look for dual valve heads to fit both Schrader (found on mountain, hybrid, and cruiser bikes) and Presta valves (road, gravel, and other skinny-tire bikes). Christine Frietchen, Condé Nast Traveler, "9 Best Bike Accessories for Those Who Plan to Ride All Summer," 11 June 2020 The 330-square-mile wilderness park encompasses more than 40 mountain peaks, backcountry ponds full of native brook trout, and a handful of idyllic cabins and campgrounds—all accessed by one gravel road and some 220 miles of trail. Brian Kevin, Outside Online, "A Local's Guide to Maine's Katahdin Region," 18 June 2020 The property is currently a sand and gravel mining site owned and operated by Martin Marietta, according to documents filed with the comptroller’s office. Dallas News, "To lure Tesla, a Travis County ISD could grant $68 million in property tax breaks," 18 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Veteran pro Mark Menendez casts red Strike King Series 3 crankbaits and Red Eyed Shad to gravel-to-chunk rock transitions. Hal Schramm, Field & Stream, "Coast-to-Coast Guide to Where, When, and How to Catch Largemouth Bass During the Spawn," 26 Feb. 2020 The pursuit path included U.S. 20, gravel logging roads and the quiet residential area where Brown was eventually arrested., "Newport man arrested after lengthy high-speed chase, deputies say," 27 June 2019 Reaching the stadium from the baseball offices is a circuitous route that takes you in one door and then out of another in State’s indoor football facility, down a steep, unleveled sidewalk and through a dusty, graveled-covered work site. Ross Dellenger,, "How Mississippi State Baseball Turned a Season That Began in Humiliation Into a Trip to Omaha," 15 June 2018 This practice begs the question: would gravel make sense in some of the areas off the path of the driveway? Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s what to do with all that sand and gravel left behind now that the snow has melted," 3 May 2018 For developers, Davis says, the upfront cost of the seeds and planting is offset in the long term by lower maintenance costs—no turf to mow or gravel erosion to manage. National Geographic, "Beekeepers Sweeten Solar Sites With the 'Tesla of Honey'," 24 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Some of the old houses are vacant and derelict; others were hauled out of the settlements, leaving not so much as a gravel track behind, because the people who lived there rode horses. Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker, "How Prosperity Transformed the Falklands," 29 June 2020 There is a gravel parking lot on-site and another lot available across the street at Park in the Woods Recreation Center. Lisa Salinas, Dallas News, "Here are 7 great places to enjoy nature in D-FW," 24 June 2020 Royston’s current home lies at the end of a gravel road in east Fairbanks. Anchorage Daily News, "‘They were the authority and I didn’t argue with authority’," 13 June 2020 Royston’s current home lies at the end of a gravel road in east Fairbanks. Anchorage Daily News, "‘They were the authority and I didn’t argue with authority’," 13 June 2020 In the shallows, waves of hard-partying paddlers crash onto a gravel parking lot. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "Ozark Mountain Fishing Adventure," 9 June 2020 On a dead-end street on the bottom of a hill that ended into a gravel pit. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "In the wake of Drew Brees hypocrisy, Laura Ingraham must do better. And she's not alone," 6 June 2020 Royston’s current home lies at the end of a gravel road in east Fairbanks. Agnes Chang, ProPublica, "“They Were the Authority and I Didn’t Argue With Authority”," 13 June 2011

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gravel.' 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 gravel


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1939, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gravel


Middle English, from Anglo-French gravele, diminutive of grave, greve river bank, stony ground

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Time Traveler for gravel

Time Traveler

The first known use of gravel was in the 13th century

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Statistics for gravel

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gravel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for gravel


How to pronounce gravel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gravel

: small pieces of rock


grav·​el | \ ˈgra-vəl How to pronounce gravel (audio) \

Kids Definition of gravel

: small pieces of rock and pebbles larger than grains of sand


grav·​el | \ ˈgrav-əl How to pronounce gravel (audio) \

Medical Definition of gravel

1 : a deposit of small calculous concretions in the kidneys and urinary bladder — compare microlith
2 : the condition that results from the presence of deposits of gravel

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