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 gravel (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 If winter weeds are growing through gravel, mulch, or in cracks and joints in concrete and other paving, spray them as well with vinegar and other organic herbicides. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "Winter is the time to treat lawns for spring weeds," 28 Dec. 2020 The groups, including the Northern Alaska Environmental Center and Sierra Club, asked the U.S. District Court in Anchorage to prevent ConocoPhillips from building ice roads and conducting gravel mining needed to support the project. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Conservation groups sue to halt winter work at large ConocoPhillips exploration project," 24 Dec. 2020 Most gravel bikes try for a versatile, capable geometry that falls somewhere in the middle. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, "How Much Should You Spend on a Gravel Bike?," 19 Dec. 2020 Around it, the grounds are relaxed and slightly farm-like — slate patio, gravel picnic spot, stone wall, overhead pergola. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "Location of lavish $2.2M Birmingham home is a big selling point," 19 Dec. 2020 How do Teslas hold up on gravel or barely-there roads? Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, "If Elon Musk wants to be a Texan, it's time he embrace our ways," 9 Dec. 2020 On Sunday, sheriff’s SUVs filled the gravel parking lot outside Rosedale Freewill Baptist Church. Washington Post, "A Black man’s killing by the police exposes Ohio congregations’ bitterly opposing interpretations of faith and justice," 23 Nov. 2020 Astronauts blasted into orbit from the U.S. for the first time in nearly a decade, three countries sent spacecraft hurtling toward Mars, and robotic explorers grabbed rocks from the moon and gravel from an asteroid for return to Earth. Marcia Dunn,, "World’s space achievements a bright spot in stressful 2020," 16 Dec. 2020 The gravel company came in and laid crushed granite. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "As the new movie ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ demonstrates, Dallas’ Robert H. Winn is a gifted artist," 14 Dec. 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 Winding along the base of the ridge was a gravel road. Outdoor Life, "7 Rules You Must Follow to Punch Your Big-Game Tag on Public Land," 10 Dec. 2020 Dave Preston, 63, still recalls bouncing along on gravel roads on his way to work. Eric Barton, Outside Online, "How ATVs Are Reviving a Forgotten Region of Appalachia," 14 Nov. 2020 The home on Day Spring Drive, near Manchester, is tucked away up a gravel driveway with few neighbors on the same street and homes spread out from one another. Kristen Griffith,, "Hampstead man arrested, charged with murdering his wife," 3 Dec. 2020 Outside work hours, the couple used the vehicle to haul rocks and mulch up their gravel driveway. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Imagine Driving 414,000 Miles in a Mitsubishi Mirage in Minnesota. This Couple Did," 1 Dec. 2020 Bryant, 42, found part of a brick from the church embedded in its gravel driveway and dug it out. Solomon Crenshaw Jr., al, "Thanksgiving 2020: Despite COVID and economic crisis, Alabamians remain grateful," 26 Nov. 2020 In stroller mode, the Doona is super solid, with big wheels, a long push handle, and a hearty frame that’s weighty enough to manage both gravel paths and manicured sidewalks. Stirling Kelso, Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Foldable, Lightweight Strollers for Travel," 3 Dec. 2020 Beaver Materials is seeking to dig a gravel pit next to Potter’s Bridge Park, a process that will take 10 years, before it is made a lake and donated to the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, "Opponents of proposed gravel pit near Noblesville demand transparency from plan commission," 25 Nov. 2020 That day, Steve’s dad had stayed next to a small pond near a gravel road. Outdoor Life, "Why I Pick the Most Energetic Puppy in a Litter of Bird Dogs," 17 Nov. 2020

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

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gravel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on gravel

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